An urgent need for a political solution in Ukraine

Statement by the National Executive Committee, Communist Party of Ireland

Today the world is closer to global war than at any time since 1962.

The two largest countries in Europe are at war. The immediate cause of this situation has been the expansion of NATO and its project to constrict its imperial competitor, Russia, by establishing large bases of troops and mass-destructive weapons along its western and southern borders and the massive arming and training of Ukrainian forces and paramilitaries, especially by the British.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that overt fascism is well ensconced in the political system of Ukraine and in its military. In the last few weeks US and British arms have been imported on a massive scale to the Baltic countries, without regard to the financial or human cost.

It is clear that it will be the working classes of Russia and Ukraine that will pay the heaviest price in this continuing military conflict. The CPI expresses its solidarity with the working classes of Russia and Ukraine and with communists in both countries, and we share the heartbreak of soldiers and their families, victims of inter-imperialist warfare.

These developments show the baneful consequences of the expansion of the NATO war alliance. They also represent the need for the governments concerned to draw attention away from their political and economic failures. The European Union in particular played a major role in the coup of 2014 to undermine Ukraine and continues to work to subsume that country into its construct.

Democratic forces in Ireland and throughout Europe must find unity and united action to demand the dismantling of the aggressive military alliance of NATO and to oppose the EU-PESCO military build-up. The hypocrisy of the western imperial power knows no bounds, in particular that of British imperialism and its role and interference in the affairs of the Irish people for centuries and which continues to deny the right of the Irish people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent, sovereign united Ireland.

The present situation confronts us with the spectre of an inter-imperialist nuclear war. There is an urgent need for neutral and non-aligned states to join together to work for nuclear disarmament and the dissolution of war alliances. There is a great opportunity for Ireland to use its membership of the UN Security Council to take an independent stand appropriate to a sovereign state.

In these dark days in Europe it should not be forgotten that western powers are pursuing their warring activities, supporting proxy wars, both large and small, as well as using illegal sanctions and subversion to advance and protect their economic, political and strategic military interests globally, such as supporting Saudi Arabia in its continual slaughter in Yemen and supplying it with bomber aircraft and armaments, resulting in the devastation of urban areas. Like the wars in Africa, that conflict is largely ignored by western media.

Hypocrisy and double standards are standard elements of imperialism. It has waged numerous illegal wars around the globe to advance and defend the interests of global corporations and monopoly capitalism. War and threats of war are constant tools of imperialist powers, for both economic and strategic reasons, attempting to undermine the sovereignty of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran and DPR Korea in particular. States of different ideological basis are subject to continual threats and harassment. Sanctions applied to these and other countries inevitably damage the lives of the very poorest of citizens. Such sanctions are often of dubious legality, especially when imposed by the European Union.

The Communist Party of Ireland calls for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and a political solution within the UN-negotiated Minsk Agreements of 2014. Such a solution would encompass a demilitarised, neutral Ukraine, with all foreign forces and mercenaries removed and the dismantling of neo-fascist paramilitary groupings.

In this critical period in world affairs the Irish state has abandoned all pretence of an independent foreign policy and takes its orders from a European Union that aims at making itself an even greater power within imperialism. A seriously neutral Ireland could play a positive role in fighting war hysteria and in working for global disarmament.

Our neutrality must be enshrined in Bunreacht na hÉireann to this end. Ireland must align itself with the peace-loving peoples of the world, not the armies of imperialism.