Moving Away From War in Ukraine

The Ukraine conflict continues to fester, raising tensions in the region to levels not seen since the Cold War. Now the warring parties have agreed to a ceasefire and an approach to further negotiations towards a political solution. Despite this opportunity to move towards peace, the United States, NATO, and Russia are throwing fuel on the fire. The U.S. is sending troops to Ukraine to train Ukraine’s armed forces, NATO is holding joint military maneuvers from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and Russia is conducting massive exercises of its own that include forward deployment of nuclear-capable missiles and bombers. It’s time for the countries that are providing support from outside Ukraine to halt and reverse all actions that contribute to this war and to the growing confrontation in Europe.

The Ukraine conflict has become a complex proxy war involving four of the world’s five original nuclear armed countries: the United States, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. The extent of support provided by outside powers remains unclear, obscured by virulent nonstop propaganda campaigns promulgated by all sides. The Ukraine war has also become both a cause and an excuse for the ratcheting up of tensions between the U.S. and its NATO allies and Russia.

In addition to the immediate dangers of war, the climate of confrontation has put further progress towards nuclear disarmament on hold. It also has given the military-industrial complexes on both sides a rationale for the resumption of conventional arms racing and nuclear weapons modernization. The people of the Ukraine are the victims, their country a battleground of competing plutocracies.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of its Doomsday Clock up to 3 minutes to midnight, citing the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change. It’s time to step back from the brink. We call on all of the governments involved to take steps to reduce tensions, to lessen the danger of an expanded war, and to provide space and build confidence for negotiations to resolve the Ukraine conflict and the growing confrontation between Russia and the U.S. and its NATO allies. These steps should include:

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