In the early hours of today, 24 February, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Fear, and worry grip our hearts and minds and our thoughts go the citizens of Ukraine in these dark times.
In the face of a large-scale invasion, not seen in Europe since the Second World War, we stand united in the condemnation of Russia and the decision by President Vladimir Putin for this blatant disregard of international law and global order of peace. Once again, the blind will of authoritarianism has shown what horrors it is capable of. Despite what we hoped for in our statement on January 31, the international community and the EU ultimately failed in their attempts to achieve a diplomatic solution. With the UN security council meeting in the early hours of this morning as a bitter reminder of its inability.
We join the ETUC and ITUC in calling for an immediate end to hostilities and the need to spare no efforts to bring all relevant political actors together to build establish a doctrine of common security in line with the Helsinki accords.
SOLIDAR President Fransisca Sauquillo states: “The entire SOLIDAR family of progressive civil society organisations call for an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops in Ukraine. The ultimate victims of military intervention and war is always civilians. There is only darkness found in war, only death and suffering. The way forward can only be found through peace. We must make our voices heard for peace, common security and respect for international law. We represent millions of citizens across Europe and we stand united in this deeply worrying situation” .
From all over Europe, we hear the voices of associations and civil society groups loudly calling for peace and active neutrality. SOLIDAR members join forces in various countries; ARCI wrote a collective statement with other Italian organisations taking a strong stance against war, and against the arm trade that fuels conflicts. MPDL, together with five Spanish pacifist organisations shared their position on the Russia-Ukraine crisis based on the principle of shared security and peace. The Olof Palme International Center joined the organisation of a manifestation for peace in central parts of Stockholm.
Across Europe people gather in manifestations to condemn this act of aggression and demand an immediate stop to this act of war.
"There is a need to come together as civil society in Europe and beyond in a strong movement for peace. As civil society our role is to fight the logic behind armament and war, whatever causes they might be based upon, shared human security must come first!” SOLIDAR Secretary General Mikael Leyi concludes.
We reiterate our call on all EU Member States and the EU Institutions as well as our European neighbors, to spare no efforts to win peace, to come back to negotiations and diplomacy as soon as possible, and to continue to promote de-escalation and an end to the invasion!