Left condemns Putin's war of aggression & calls for urgent cease-fire

The Co-Chairs of the Left, Manon Aubry and Martin Schirdewan, will hold a press briefing ahead of the plenary session on the war in Ukraine on Tue, 1 March, 11:30am. All journalists invited.

It is with horror that the world is witnessing the suffering of people in Ukraine, the mounting civilian casualties and the humanitarian and refugee crisis. We must not abandon Ukraine. This means redoubling efforts for an immediate cease-fire and opening up diplomatic channels and multilateral peace talks to resolve the conflict in the long-term. 

We reiterate our strong condemnation of Russia’s invasion as a war of aggression and a grave violation of international law. 

The EU must take on a humanitarian role, support UN efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, and commit to the opening of borders for those fleeing the conflict. A humanitarian corridor to the EU is a necessity, we must grant asylum to refugees without bureaucratic hurdles and without racial discrimination.

NATO is not the solution – de-escalation and dialogue is. We deplore that the EU and NATO are deploying troops and supplying heavy weaponry to the conflict. EU leaders must act responsibly and not use it as an excuse for further militarisation. An arms build-up between two nuclear-armed sides will have catastrophic consequences. Ukraine cannot pay the price for a geopolitical rivalry between Russia, the United States and NATO. Further enlargement of NATO will not help.

As The Left, we will not enter into the logic of war. We condemn those who fight for power, influence and profit on the backs of the people. In this spirit, we insist that any macro financial assistance must be a donation to assist ordinary Ukrainians, not loans with strings attached. Sanctions imposed must be carefully targeted at oligarchs and tax dodgers, and economic measures must avoid impacting Ukrainian households. Sanctions are already impacting working people in Europe, who should not pay the price for war.

 We stand in solidarity with the anti-war movement in Russia and around the world, and condemn the arrest of peaceful protesters by Russian authorities.