CPI defends neutrality

Following a protest organised by the Communist Party of Ireland outside the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin to condemn the Government’s decision to provide weapons training to the Ukrainian armed forces, the following letter was handed in to the minister for foreign affairs, Micheál Martin.

The Communist Party of Ireland condemns the Government’s decision to order Irish troops to provide weapons training to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This decision dangerously increases Irish involvement in the war and is another calculated attack on Irish neutrality. It is also designed to ensure that the war will continue, resulting in increased death and destruction.

We call on the Government to immediately rescind this decision and instead to add its voice to the majority of the world’s nations that have called for a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement.

Article 29.2 of the Constitution of Ireland is quite clear on the duty of the Irish state to seek a peaceful resolution to international conflicts: “Ireland affirms its adherence to the principle of the pacific settlement of international disputes by international arbitration or judicial determination.”

This constitutional imperative cannot be squared with Government policies since the beginning of the conflict in 2014, and in particular since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The decision once again highlights how Irish foreign policy is dictated by the needs of imperialism and how the Atlanticist policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs runs counter to article 29 of the Constitution.

The decision also does not reflect the wishes of the majority of the people of Ireland, who in a number of polls support a negotiated settlement to the war.

In line with article 29.2 of the Constitution, the Communist Party of Ireland calls on the Government to end its military support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and to work with those countries calling for a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement of the issues at the heart of the conflict. This will put Ireland in line with the majority of UN member-states. What is needed is a de-escalation, rather than contributing to the escalation and prolongation of this destructive and senseless war.