Shannonwatch Condemns Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Calls on Ireland and the EU to Pursue Peaceful Efforts to Resolve Crisis
Shannonwatch condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and expresses its solidarity with the innocent civilian population now suffering as a result. The invasion is a gross breach of international laws and a huge tragedy for the people of Ukraine. We urge the Irish government and others to seek diplomatic resolution to the war, and not to support a dangerous or provocative NATO response to Russia’s actions.
Given the very worrying decision of Russian President Putin to put his nuclear forces on high alert, the dangers associated with ongoing confrontation between NATO and Russia are now greater than ever. The expansion of NATO eastwards must now be reconsidered, as must the entire basis for the organisation’s existence. NATO is not a defence against war or invasion; instead the presence of its bases and missiles close to the borders of Russia are a blockage to efforts to achieve speedy and peaceful resolution to the current war in Ukraine.
While we acknowledge the right of Ukraine and its people to self-defence we are also appalled by the European Union’s decision to finance the purchase and delivery of $500 million worth of weapons to the country. This is the opposite of what a bloc that describes itself as a peace project should do, and we call on Ireland not to support this.
Now more than ever it is important for Ireland to pursue a policy of positive neutrality promoting international peace and justice. Peace and conflict resolution cannot be achieved by supplying more weapons or supporting military alliances or interventions. When wars like the one in Ukraine start, every effort must be made to stop the killing. To achieve this, diplomatic communications lines must be kept open and peace making must be facilitated and pursued, especially by genuinely neutral and non-belligerent countries.
The people of Ukraine have suffered greatly over the past 100 years as a result of Stalinist purges, ethnic cleansing, starvation, invasion and counter invasion. This latest crisis has led to hundreds of thousands of people having to flee across borders into Poland and other countries, with millions more trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation. And it is a sad testament to the fact that the world has learned very little from what happened in past wars.
Finally, as we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we must also remember the millions of people suffering oppression and war in other parts of the world. The people of Yemen who are being bombed by Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinians who are being violently attacked and ethnically cleansed from their land by Israel, deserve equally strong condemnation of their aggressors.