OTTAWA – Expressing alarm over escalating tensions in Ukraine, the Green Party of Canada is calling on the Canadian government to take a more active role in an expanded diplomatic effort towards a permanent ceasefire in the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine.
“We must explore all possible avenues to ensure that Russian aggression does not trigger a NATO military response,” said Green Party interim Leader Amita Kuttner. “There is no winning with an armed conflict. Any military action by Russia must be met with a suite of punitive sanctions and other economic measures.”
The Green Party supports strong non-violent responses to military aggression and human rights violations. It strongly opposes any Canadian military involvement in Ukraine and the export of weapons to this conflict zone.
Dr. Kuttner said that Canada should continue to support the strengthening of Ukraine’s civil society and democratic institutions and training for its civilian police forces. “Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected and its citizens must be allowed to determine their future without foriegn interference,” they said.
“The US played a key role during the Revolution of Dignity or Maiden revolution in 2014, effectively supporting the removal of the democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovych. Since then Russia has annexed Crimea and fomented violent insurrection in the Russian speaking regions of Ukraine.”
The Green Party is calling for a different approach to ensuring peace and security for all European states. The German unification negotiations between the US and the Soviet Union produced a promise that NATO forces and missiles would not be stationed in eastern Germany and that NATO would not expand “one inch further”. While that pledge was specific to Germany, the spirit and intent was that NATO would not expand eastward.
When the Warsaw Pact was disbanded, NATO should have followed suit, making way for a new model for peace and security in Europe that excludes the two superpowers. Instead, NATO now includes 10 former Warsaw Pact countries and four former Yugoslav republics, effectively encircling Russia on its western border.
This expansion, coupled with NATO interventions in the Middle East, have strengthened President Valdimir Putin's contention that Russia needs to take strong counter measures to protect its security and sovereignty.
Faced with the growing threat of the climate crisis, the global community must not waste time and effort on neo-imperial ambitions and military expansionism. It’s time to set aside these conflicts, create diplomatic solutions and work collectively to deal with the existential crisis we all share in common.
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