Nordic left parties: Russia must withdraw immediately
By Nordic left party chairs
March 2, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The leaders of the Nordic left parties of the European parliament meeting in Brussels on March 2nd, 2022 strongly condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine, indiscriminate warfare and targeting of civilians.
The party leaders call for an immediate cessation of the invasion and all Russian military activity in Ukraine and for the EU to introduce tougher sanctions.
Political spokesperson Mai Villadsen (Red Green Alliance, Denmark), party chair Nooshi Dadgostar (Left Party, Sweden) and party chair, minister of education Li Andersson (Left Alliance, Finland) also discussed the wider security and humanitarian implications of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
– We must send a very clear and unwavering signal to Putin, by tightening the existing sanctions.The greatest victims of Russia’s destructive assault are the innocent civilians of Ukraine. We have to support them in their struggle, apply maximum pressure on Putin and wish for a quick end to this madness, Mai Villadsen said.
The attack on Ukraine has already had potentially far-reaching implications on the foreign and security policies of Europe, the EU, and many other countries.
– During the present crisis, Europe has shown greater unity than perhaps ever before. We must build on our common solidarity to defend human rights, democracy and equality. This includes supporting the democracy movements in Russia and Belarus, LI Andersson said.
– The crisis has also made visible our weaknesses. It is obvious that we need to strengthen our resilience and self-sustainability, including with regard to green energy. Putin should not be able to hold us hostage, Nooshi Dadgostar continued
Strengthening international law as well as democratic intergovernmental and transnational bodies is a shared goal for all Nordic countries.
The actions that we take and the structures that we create must work to de-escalate rather than escalate tensions, rely on diplomacy and mediation, and make our geopolitical environment safer. Facilitating arms control and disarmament, for example, is an often-overlooked area where a lot more action is needed, even its prospects in the near future seem limited due to Russia’s aggressions.
Following their meeting, the Nordic left party leaders agreed to:
· call on the EU to introduce tougher sanctions in order to target Putin’s oligarchs and to make sure that no Russian banks are excluded from the sanctions regime and stop import of Russian gas and oil to the EU;
· call on the EU to immediately engage in massive green investment in renewable energy in order to secure energy independence;
· call on the EU and its member states to support the anti-war movements protesting Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in Russia and in Belarus;
· call on all EU member states to treat all people fleeing Russia’s attack in Ukraine in a fair and humane manner, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity, and grant asylum if needed;
· demand that EU member states protect and grant asylum to Russians and Belarusians persecuted for speaking out against or protesting the war, as well as Russians and Belarusian deserters and conscientious objectors.
The party leader meeting was initially organised to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation amongst modern democratic left parties in the Nordics and the EU.