Britain Must End All Intervention in Ukraine:


From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois
Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
pose for a group photo at Independence Palace in Minsk

For the British government and its NATO allies the problem in Ukraine is being posed as allegedly the intervention of Russia, which is accused of annexing Crimea, of providing military support for its “proxies” and solely responsible for the instability and bloodshed that has been intensifying. On the basis of this falsification of the situation, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond concluded that “it is vital that all those countries who have a stake in the rules-based international system remain clear and united against Russian aggression”.

In attempting to pose the issue as one of external aggression on Ukraine by Russia, David Cameron speaking at the EU summit in Brussels said, “If this is a genuine ceasefire, then of course that would be welcome. But what matters most of all is actually actions on the ground rather than just words on a piece of paper. I think we should be very clear that Putin needs to know that unless his behaviour changes, the sanctions we have in place won’t be altered.”

Protest at US embassy against “lethal aid” for Ukraine

Thus although the British government claims that its aim is a peaceful settlement in Ukraine it becomes clear that it is intent on pursuing a hostile stand against Russia. It is for this reason that Hammond emphasised that Britain’s strategy is to make sure that the EU countries continue to ally with the US and maintain robust economic sanctions against Russia. The British government even boasts that it is the main architect of EU sanctions against Russia.

The result is that despite the latest Minsk agreements, which purportedly ushered in a ceasefire in Ukraine on February 15, fighting has still continued in the country. Britain and the other big powers must be condemned for creating all the conditions for the continuation of this on-going civil war which has led to the loss of so many lives.

Already it is reported that since last Spring over 5,000 lives have been lost, while over 1.5 million people have been displaced from their homes. The latest Minsk agreement comes after previous attempts to agree a permanent truce last September were unsuccessful. It calls for both sides, the government of Ukraine and those rebelling against it, to withdraw heavy weapons, for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and for the establishing of a demilitarised zone. There will also be new political arrangements for the areas in eastern Ukraine currently controlled by those in rebellion against the central government, granting them some measure of autonomy and the right to establish economic relations with Russia.

The fact is that Ukraine remains a country that the British government and the big powers of the EU and NATO wish to incorporate within their orbit. As Hammond mentioned in his recent address to the House of Commons, they wish to place it firmly within the EU and under the direction of the IMF, so as to “reform” its economy and wrest it away from the influence of Russia. The British government has already contributed £10m for these purposes, while the EU and the IMF aim to put in place $15bn worth of finance to fully incorporate Ukraine into their fold. The EU and the US are working hand in hand also for the takeover of Ukrainian agriculture. The Ukraine has 32 million hectares of arable land, the equivalent of one-third of the entire arable land in the EU. It is the world’s third largest exporter of corn and the fifth largest exporter of wheat. With the full co-operation of the present government, more than 1.6 million hectares have already been signed over to foreign companies.

This economic intervention for the exploitation of Ukraine’s people and resources is accompanied with the political intervention that culminated in the ousting of the former president and the promotion of openly fascist organisations and elements that have links to, or are part of the Ukrainian government and state apparatus. However, since that too was not sufficient for the
purposes of the British government and its allies, and has been resisted by many Ukrainians and opposed by Russia, it has been backed up with open military intervention and the threat of further NATO intervention in the future. As the Foreign Secretary explained, the British government is providing “technical” support to the Ukrainian armed forces. At the same time it will play a leading role in establishing six NATO bases in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria and Rumania, which are aimed to threaten Russia. In addition NATO will open a new military “training” centre in Georgia, in what is said to be the largest strengthening of NATO forces in Eastern Europe since the demise of the Soviet Union. The US government, for its part, has announced that it is considering openly arming the Ukrainian government, while at last year’s NATO summit in Wales various warmongering plans were established to threaten Russia, including the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, which Britain will lead in 2017 and to which the government has pledged 1,000 troops and four
RAF Typhoon jets. Thousands of British troops will also participate in warmongering NATO “exercises” in Eastern Europe this year.

It therefore seems certain that despite the recent agreement in Minsk that Ukraine will continue to be a point of contention between the big powers and that within the country there will continue to be resistance to a government that is widely viewed as a proxy of NATO and a front for fascist organisations and ideology. It seems that the governments of Britain and its NATO allies have forgotten all the lessons of the Second World War. Far from opposing aggression and war as a means to resolve conflicts so that no more lives are lost, Anglo-US war aims are leading to chaos, reaction and armed conflict.

What is required for a lasting peace is the ending of all foreign intervention in the area and an end to hostile actions by the leading members of NATO such as the British government. The dangerous situation in Ukraine and other parts of the world necessitates that all democratic and peace-loving people step up their struggles to establish an anti-war government in Britain, one that immediately withdraws from the warmongering NATO, ceases all intervention abroad and ends the deployment of British troops on foreign soil.

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