STOP THE WAR NOW! Call for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine.

We stand in solidarity with all people calling for peace in Ukraine

Ceasefire, Russian troop withdrawal, negotiations

IPAN condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and also condemns the attacks by the Ukrainian Government on the people of Donbass.   IPAN calls for an immediate ceasefire by all parties, a withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, and a de-escalation of the conflict. Negotiations must take place, leading to a peaceful solution to the present crisis. This requires an end to NATO’s expansion in Europe.

IPAN calls on the Australian Government to support a peaceful and just resolution in Ukraine by:

  1. Calling for an immediate ceasefire and a Russian military withdrawal.
  2. Calling for support for the Ukrainian President’s commitment to negotiate genuine neutrality for Ukraine which would involve the USA and NATO accepting that Ukraine will not join NATO.
  3. Calling for a United Nations Peacekeeping force to be formed to supervise a ceasefire.
  4. Calling for a cessation of hostilities between the government of Ukraine and the people of Donbass.
  5. Signing the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as this current crisis highlights the danger of an escalation to a nuclear conflict.
  6. Pursuing an independent and peaceful Australian foreign policy.

                               Background to the current situation in Ukraine

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine was one of several Soviet Republics which became independent nations. The people of Ukraine and Russia continued to have friendly relations. Although U.S Secretaries of State assured Russia in 1990 and 1993 that NATO would not expand eastwards the U.S., under President Clinton, broke these assurances and now most of the former Soviet-bloc states are members of NATO. Further, the U.S., under Trump backed out of the agreement with Russia not to install intermediate range missiles in Europe. If Ukraine joins NATO, Russia will have NATO bases on all of its borders with the possibility of intermediate range missiles (which could be nuclear armed) close to its border pointed at Russia, a situation Russia was clear it would not tolerate and the reason it demands that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO.

In February 2014, popular protests opposing the elected Yanukovich government’s decision to reject a proposed agreement with the European Union were held in Kyiv. The protests grew in number with US politician John McCain and undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland coming to Kyiv to address the crowds. The ‘Maidan’ events where over 100 people were killed led to the overthrow of the government with a U.S. approved interim government of known far right individuals installed. New elections were held soon after with the people of the Donbass region excluded. The Poroshenko government won that election. In 2019 President Zelensky was elected on a platform of peace negotiations with the Donbass people. 

One of the far-right groups in the government of 2014 was the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, now part of the Ukrainian National Guard and notorious for its savage attacks on the Russian-speaking people of Eastern Ukraine and indiscriminate shelling of residential areas in the Donbass region. 

Following the civil war in Ukraine which developed after the Euromaidan coup, the Minsk 2 agreement was signed by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine which stipulated that the Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbass region of Ukraine would enjoy regional autonomy while remaining part of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has subsequently refused to implement it with an ongoing war resulting in the deaths of many thousands of people in the Donbass. 

The western mass media has constantly referred to the over 100,000 Russian troops massed near the border with Ukraine while avoiding mention of the fact that 150,000 Ukrainian troops armed and trained by the U.S and NATO, were massed in Ukraine near the control line separating east and west Ukraine where armed conflict has continued since 2014, devastating life for the millions of people in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Donbass.  

None of this history justifies the current invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops which must be withdrawn so negotiations can take place for a future for Ukraine which includes peace and security for all the people of Ukraine including those in the Donbass region. One of the major contributing factors in the crisis is the refusal of the US and its allies to accept the notion of a neutral Ukraine.

We call for solidarity with the people of Ukraine and Russia.

The Ukrainian people must be allowed to decide their country’s destiny without interference from US/NATO and Russia.

IPAN is a national network of peace organisations including trade union and faith groups campaigning for an independent and peaceful Australian foreign policy

Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) www.ipan.org.au

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