Ukraine crisis: peace policy instead of escalation

Eftirfarandi er texti frá hópi þýskra friðarsinna um Úkraínudeiluna. Líta má á hann sem innlegg í brýna umræðu um atburði og framvindu í Austur-Evrópu.

Russa’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and the deployment of military forces is a breach of the Minsk II Agreement, which has the status of international law by UN Security Council decision. This turns the escalation screw further up, increases tensions, and intensifies the risk of war.

These decisions are Russia’s reaction to the fact that Ukraine has been blocking the implementation of Minsk II with the connivance of the West for eight years and that a change in this situation and the associated intolerable situation of the people in eastern Ukraine did not seem achievable. We demand that Ukraine, Russia, and the West return to Minsk II and negotiate a political solution to the crisis on this basis.

Moscow’s move was in response to the US and NATO’s unwillingness to seriously engage in negotiations on Moscow’s legitimate security interests, which Moscow proposed in December. The European NATO allies have joined the US policy, not only with words, as recently at the Munich Security Conference, but in the case of Great Britain, France, Poland, among others, by supplying weapons or redeploying military personnel.

The renewed intensification of the crisis underlines how urgent de-escalation and diplomacy are. It shows where it leads when the principle of undivided, common security is ignored and instead a fait accompli is created unilaterally. Now Russia, for its part, has resorted to these methods. The whole development is ultimately the consequence of NATO’s breaking its promises not to expand eastwards. By militarily enforcing the secession of Kosovo from Serbia and its recognition, which is also contrary to international law, NATO has opened the pandora’s box.

This makes it even more necessary not to escalate the situation any further. With more and more sanctions and the strengthening of military threats according to the motto “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, to go for victory instead of detente leads closer to the abyss. For years, sanctions have been part of a policy of confrontation and economic war against Russia that endangers peace. Far from having the intended effect, they have achieved the opposite.

For us as a peace movement, it can never be about Putin, Biden, and great power interests, but about life, welfare, and peace. It is about the people in Donetsk and Luhansk, about the people in Ukraine, in Russia, and in all of Europe.

We demand:

  • Immediate cessation of all military activities on all sides.
  • Return to and swift implementation of Minsk II.
  • Concrete steps towards de-escalation.
  • An end to war rhetoric, confrontational politics, and sanctions.
  • Negotiations with Russia based on a clear commitment to the principle of of common security.
  • Active advocacy of arms control and disarmament negotiations.
  • Beginning of negotiations on a lasting peace order for Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

We call on the peace movement and all people interested in peace in Europe to engage in public actions, information stands, vigils, demonstrations, and initiatives for these demands to stop the march into the abyss.

The text was initiated and written by:

Hugo Braun (Attac), Reiner Braun (International Peace Bureau), Claudia Haydt (Informationsstelle Militarisierung), Ralf Krämer (Sozialistische Linke in der Partei Die Linke), Willi van Ooyen (Friedens- und Zukunftswerkstatt), Christof Ostheimer (Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag), Peter Wahl (Attac).