Afri Statement on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Afri condemns the Russian onslaught on Ukraine.  Nothing can justify such aggressive action, nor can that action resolve any valid grievance. The violent attack is a crime against the citizens of Ukraine, a serious threat to Ukraine’s neighbours (there are 15 nuclear reactors in Ukraine), and a betrayal of the citizens of Russia by their leadership. We also express our solidarity with the people of Belarus, who are unwillingly caught up in this conflict.

Afri joins with the worldwide calls on Russia to abandon its aggression and withdraw its troops.  At the same time we must ask how best our own Government could have acted in this crisis, and how it should now respond.

Afri does not believe that the rhetoric of ‘unshakable Western unity and solidarity’ is helpful, playing as it does into Putin’s hands by suggesting a united threat against Russia. The so-called ‘Security Architecture’ resulting from the EU’s alignment with NATO has tragically failed (not for the first time) to prevent war in our common European home.  Our Government and our political establishment have acquiesced in so-called ‘threat diplomacy’ while weapons were poured by all sides into a conflict zone.  Shamefully, some of those weapons may well have transited through Shannon airport.

It is nonsense to claim that we are ‘militarily non-aligned’ when we have made Shannon available to US forces, when we have colluded with every step of EU militarisation, and when we now plan to produce weapons to sell to yet more warzones.

Successive governments have betrayed our constitutional commitment, in Article 29, to peaceful settlement of international disputes under international law. Our Foreign and Defence Minister Coveney ignores the support of the vast majority of Irish people for genuine, active Neutrality.  That grounds the condemnation of Russian aggression against Ukraine.  It also informs our opposition to Israeli aggression against Palestine and Saudi aggression against Yemen, to mention just two current examples, both of them supported by the Western powers with which we are urged to align ourselves.

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