The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) condemns the US and NATO and Russia for escalating tensions in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and opening the possibility of starting a war in the said country and region.
At stake in the escalation of tensions and possible war are the geopolitical and economic interests of the said global powers, to the detriment of the interests of the workers and people of Ukraine, Eastern Europe and the world. It is a damning condemnation of the imperialist system and of the imperialist countries involved that they are fomenting war amidst a persisting global pandemic and one of the worst economic crises in history, both of which are devastating the lives of the workers and peoples of the world.
The conflict in Ukraine involves various economic, social and political factors. Its eastern region is a former industrial center, of coal mining and ironworks, that was home to many working-class communities while its western region has historically been seen as Eastern Europe’s breadbasket, consisting of self-sufficient farming communities. From the European feudal empires’ competition for colonies in the late 19th century until today, these regions have come under the influence of foreign powers, culminating in the loss of industrialization in the east and monopoly corporate control over agriculture in the west.
These issues are internal problems that should be solved by a sovereign Ukrainian people. Instead, the US-NATO and Russia continue to exploit and aggravate this internal crisis for their own geopolitical interests. The ILPS condemns the US and NATO for working to recruit Ukraine into NATO and for making actions and statements that assert their geopolitical presence in the country: US sale of weapons to Ukraine, large-scale air exercises in the country, flying US aircraft over Russia’s borders, sending the UK navy’s air-defense destroyers, statements about strengthening NATO’s flank in Romania and Bulgaria, let alone about the use of nuclear weapons against Russia, among others.
As Ukraine lies in Russia’s borders and is wracked by internal conflicts involving Russia, such actions cannot but act as provocations for Moscow. The US would surely not approve of rival superpowers’ similar statements and actions pertaining to its borders. The ILPS also decries the actions and statements of Russia that aggravate tensions pertaining to this issue. While Russia cites US-NATO moves to recruit Ukraine into the NATO as basis and while it deployed its military forces within its borders and not outside of them, the threat of invasion that this deployment raises undermines the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.
Russia’s deployment of more than 100,000 troops in its border, together with armor, missiles and other weaponry, as well its stationing of high-precision and long-range missiles in Crimea, are only some the latest in its many efforts to bamboozle the Ukrainian government to bow down to its dictates and to pressure US-NATO to heed its demands. The ILPS condemns all imperialist powers involved for not seriously undertaking all peaceful means to resolve the immediate conflict and address its underlying root causes.
The January 3 statement of Russia, the US, the UK, China and France affirming the importance of avoiding a nuclear war and calling for progress in nuclear disarmament is salutary, but must be matched with concrete actions towards disarmament. Negotations between the US and Russia are also steps in the right direction, but must be conducted in earnest according to the principles of de-escalation, respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and peace in Eastern Europe and the world.
The interests of the workers and peoples of the world should be prioritized over those of imperialists. The tension in Ukraine further exposes the bankruptcy of the imperialist system, which means division of the world into spheres of influence and constant war and preparation for war, primarily among imperialist powers. It further displays the bankruptcy of US imperialism. Faced with economic decline and waning geopolitical influence, it is seeking to assert its military might around the world, especially against its rivals Russia and China.
This way, it is hoping that it could boost the superprofits of the military-industrial complex, keep its economy afloat, and use its superior military might to maintain its global dominance. The Ukraine crisis is also exposing the bankruptcy of Russia and China who, in their efforts to uphold their superpower interests, are contributing to bringing the world closer to war.
The crisis over Ukraine is yet another illustration that inter-imperialist contradictions in the world are intensifying. The workings of the imperialist system show that these contradictions could only get worse in the future. The workers and peoples of the world are therefore called upon to expand and strengthen their anti-imperialist movements to fight imperialist dictates and other actions, as well as imperialist proxy and direct wars, and imperialist wars of aggression.
History has shown that worsening inter-imperialist contradictions, while opposed by the workers and peoples of the world, provide extremely favorable conditions for their struggles for social justice, national liberation, democracy, and socialism. ###