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Stop the War banner. Photo: Jim Aindow

The Stop the War Coalition's statement following the dangerous escalation of the crisis in Ukraine

Stop the War condemns the movement of Russian forces into eastern Ukraine and urges that they immediately withdraw, alongside the resumption of diplomatic negotiations to resolve the crisis.

This dispute could and should be resolved peacefully, and that remains the only basis for a lasting settlement, rather than the imposition of military solutions.  That it has not been resolved is not, however, the responsibility of the Russian or Ukrainian governments alone.

The conflict is the product of thirty years of failed policies, including the expansion of NATO and US hegemony at the expense of other countries as well as major wars of aggression by the USA, Britain and other NATO powers which have undermined international law and the United Nations.

The British government has played a provocative role in the present crisis, talking up war, decrying diplomacy as appeasement and escalating arms supplies and military deployments to Eastern Europe.

If there is to be a return to diplomacy, as there should be, the British government should pledge to oppose any further eastward expansion of NATO and should encourage a return to the Minsk-2 agreement, already signed by both sides, by all parties as a basis for ending the crisis in relations between Ukraine and Russia.

Beyond that, there now needs to be a unified effort to develop pan-European security arrangements which meet the needs of all states, something that should have been done when the Warsaw Pact was wound up at the end of the Cold War.  The alternative is endless great power conflict with all the attendant waste of resources and danger of bloodshed and destruction.

We send our solidarity to all those campaigning for an end to the war, often under very difficult conditions, in Russia and Ukraine.  Stop the War can best support them by demanding a change in Britain’s own policy, which can be seen to have failed.

From Stop the War

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