EU & Russia – Hands off Ukraine!

Yulia Tymoshenko addresses the crowd in Kiev's Independence Square

Today it was confirmed that Julia Tymoshenko, together with Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko, will attend the European People’s Party congress in Dublin this Thursday.

While people are rightly horrified at the sight of Russian troops in Ukraine, they should not close their eyes to the reactionary forces being promoted by the European political establishment. Tymoshenko’s supporters, together with Yatsenyuk and Klitschko, worked closely with far-right and fascist forces like Svoboda and the Right Sector in overthrowing the corrupt Yanukovich. It is not for nothing that a Rabbi in Ukraine called on Jews to flee Kiev.

This new government will not offer any solutions to the needs of working class people and has already started to discriminate against Russian speakers within Ukraine. Tymoshenko was previously in power and her government saw a dramatic rise in unemployment and a decline in living standards.

Working people in Ukraine are currently caught in a tug of war between the EU/NATO and Russia. They will be the victims of this great power game which treats these people simply as pawns. On the one hand, Russian imperialism considers the Ukraine as part of its traditional sphere of influence. On the other, the US and the EU have been driving an imperialist agenda with NATO in eastern Europe to incorporate the former Soviet bloc countries into an organised ‘Greater Europe’, with the adoption of the EU neo-liberal model. There is no question that NATO agents are currently on the ground trying to ensure a result in the interest of Western capitalism.

One hundred years on from the outbreak of World War One, which saw millions of working class people slaughtered in a war over colonies and power, people across the world must today reject all drives towards conflict here. I salute those in Russia, like members of the Socialist Party’s sister party in Russia (www.socialistworld.ru) who have protested against Russian militarism. In the EU we should do the same, rejecting all humanitarian and hypocritical ‘democratic’ pretexts by EU leaders to justify intervention. A strong message is needed on Thursday – no to war, no to militarisation, hands off the Ukraine.

Protest against EPP congress Thursday 6 March, assembling 6pm at Liberty Hall and marching to the Dublin Convention Centre.

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