The war should have been avoided / by Enrique Santiago Romero

Enrique Santiago Romero, Secretary General of the Communist Party of Spain

Our geostrategic interests are not those of the United States. We do not support the European Union sending arms [to Ukraine]. 

Vladimir Putin is carrying out a brutal attack on Ukraine, an unjustifiable action even if Russia has reasons to feel its security threatened. The bombings represent a collective failure for all peace-loving peoples who respect the Charter of the United Nations, which is the basis of peaceful coexistence and of international law applying to the world community.

The Charter embodies basic principles of peaceful international relations, from the sovereign equality of States to, of course, the prohibition of the use of force. It is a rule that must be respected to avoid the endpoint of the world destroying itself in this era of nuclear weapons.

It’s true that the war in Ukraine is not starting now. We’ve had years of tension as the result of NATO’s constant and unjustified expansion towards Russia’s borders. The Maidan coup, propelled and justified by the United States and its allies in 2014, saw a curtailment of political freedoms in Ukraine, including the outlawing of the Communist Party.

Now the United States regains international clout it had lost. And in Ukraine, the militias and the proto-Nazi forces are building up social and military support for themselves. A multipolar world is retreating.

Together with its allies, the Communist Party of Spain has been trying to contribute to calming the warlike mood and to push back against Russophobia and limitations to freedom of expression that are being imposed in Europe and in Spain.

Diplomatic initiatives – No weapons

From the first minute of this conflict, we have called for an immediate cessation of military operations initiated by Russia in Ukraine and for supportive initiatives that would promote a peaceful and definitive solution. This would ensure a system of shared security for Ukraine, Russia and Europe, apart from the logic and interests imposed from beyond our continent.

We do not support the sending of arms by European governments to Ukraine. We are convinced that such a measure does not stand up against any expert discussion on defense. Various diplomatic, academic and military specialists have emphasized this.

To arm the Ukrainian population adds up to nothing more than the West moving forward now so as to avoid having to address the basic issue, which is: our geo-strategic interests do not coincide with those of the United States as applied to this region. Even [European Commission foreign policy chief] Borrell acknowledged on March 11 that NATO made a big mistake in not having provided guarantees for Russia’s security.

Instead of their logic of military tension over Ukraine, the parties involved, Russia, the United States and NATO, might have avoided this war, if they had opted to build the system of integrated continental security that had been approved in 1990 under the so-called Charter of Paris.  That was a product of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), [held in Paris that year], which today is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). (Attendees were European nations plus Canada, the Soviet Union, and the United States.)

Now the United States regains its leading role internationally and Putin strengthens his position in Russia. This war is not good for the workers of the world, inasmuch as it leads to a U.S. political resurgence in the international arena. It’s worthwhile remembering that during the pandemic no country sought out the United States for assistance, while 87 countries asked for help from China.

Signs of a new environment are: a setback in the building of a multipolar world, as promoted by China; the failure to once and for all abandon Cold War strategy; an increase in military spending by a large part of the European Union – U.S. demands for which having been previously rejected – and the coming economic crisis. Accompanying these manifestations will be antisocial measures. These will be justified because of the necessity of having to stop Putin. 

The only positive results for the Russian president’s irresponsible actions will play out within his own country. There he can make sure that things that are different, because of his neoliberal, authoritarian and antisocial politics, take a back seat, while national unity before the external enemy moves to the forefront.

Now the economic and other problems suffered by the Russian people will no longer be attributed to its lousy, corrupt politics but to economic sanctions that are imposed from outside. At the same time, the proclaimed intention of de-Nazifying Ukraine will end up not succeeding because ordinary people are trying to escape. That will allow the militias and pro-Nazi forces to gain strength militarily and receive more support socially.

Europe, apart from NATO?

It’s essential to de-escalate this conflict, to encourage Europe to move towards a system of shared security that overcomes the logic of the Cold War, to initiate processes of verifiable disarmament and to make it so that Europe becomes a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

Spain and the European Union must not be part of this conflict, just as they must not give way to the interests of the United States inside NATO. They must support active diplomatic initiatives to put an end to Russian aggression and contribute to building the indispensable continental system of shared security. Therefore, in order to recover the intent and stipulations of the Charter of Paris, we need urgently to hold an international conference under the auspices of the UN and the OSCE to begin now to build a system of shared security, one that provides guarantees to Ukraine, Russia and the whole of Europe.

Translated by Tom Whitney

Author: Enrique Santiago Romero, Secretary General of the Communist Party of Spain

Source: La guerra se debería haber evitado (mundoobrero.es), March 19, 2022