In contrast to elsewhere in Europe, the Left Party in Germany is responding to the Ukrainian crisis in a way which would once have been expected of the left. Here is a statement from from there May conference.
Decision of the 2nd session of the 4th Congress(Google translate)
Original statement in German
10th May, 2014
Never again war. Never again fascism
With the murderous attack on the Trade Union House in Odessa, in which at least 46 people, probably much more, were killed, the right-wing violence in Ukraine has reached after numerous attacks on offices and physical terror against members left and anti-fascist organizations a new peak, has become the threatening danger of civil war.Left activists stand on black lists of rights and can no longer be in Kiev and western Ukraine move freely. The Left condemns the violent attacks and interference in political activity rights of those who stand in opposition to the current transitional government. THE LEFT declared their express solidarity with the victims. The Left is in solidarity with all democratic, anti-fascist forces in Ukraine. The Left calls on all parties to the conflict – ie, NATO, the Federal Government, the EU, the U.S. administration and the Russian government – to refrain from further escalating.
The vast majority in Europe does not want war and no escalation of the threat of war in Europe. They did not want war in Yugoslavia, not in Iraq and Afghanistan, not in Ukraine. Even and especially in the conflict over Ukraine have violence, the threat of violence, the threat of a Third World War, need to refrain from war rhetoric. Otherwise there is the danger that the war of words following the war of weapons. Disarmament begins verbally. Disarmament begins when distance is taken from unilateral enemy. Dialogue rather than sanctions, diplomacy instead of threats – this is the content of the proposals of the Left. The Left is on the side of the peace movement against further escalation of the threat of war in Europe!
Unlike it is the federal government is not responsible for the aggravation of the situation around Ukraine primarily Russia. Even the affirmation of a dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty, while rejecting the dissolution of NATO prevented the development of a common European house, creating a security structure which includes Russia. That was just as wrong as the fraction of the promise not to undertake an eastward expansion of NATO. The security interests of Russia were disregarded by the deployment of U.S. missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland.
The Left has condemned the breaches of international law in the war against Yugoslavia and Serbia, in the separation of Kosovo and the military interventions in Iraq and Libya. The inclusion of the Crimea in the Russian Federation is also illegal under international law. The Left sees itself as the party of law and seeks to strengthen international law.
We reject all threats of economic sanctions with military intervention or even the immediate use of military force.The anti-terrorism operation must be stopped, and stopped the use of the Ukrainian army and the National Guard has to be immediately taken back to the barracks. Only negotiations, the peace agreement on common solutions to de-escalate the conflict.
It was for the people of the Kiev Maidan good reasons to protest against the government of Viktor Yanukovych. His reign was characterized by corruption and the destruction of democratic rights. The power and the rule of oligarchs different economic and political alignments have always influenced the lives of the people of Ukraine negative.
The tragedy is that we are just witnessing how these objectives will be transformed into its opposite.
- It is feared that the social dislocations increase.
- At the same time the wealth of the oligarchs remains untouched.
- And in a militarily volatile situation, there will be no more democratic rights, but instead more authoritarianism.
The hope of the Maidan-demonstrators, one closer to the EU by the Association Agreement would result in an improvement of the political and economic situation, was illusory. In this agreement it was not about an improved freedom of travel for Ukrainians in the EU, but the enforcement of neoliberal economic ideologies. The enforcement of the EU and the International Monetary Fund sought neoliberal reforms in Ukraine, would lead to a drastic increase in energy prices in the destruction of the industrial base in eastern Ukraine and large parts of the population mean for an even greater impoverishment. So there were sufficient grounds for the former President Yanukovych to reject the Association Agreement with the EU.
A fatal error of the democratic forces on the Maidan, however, was to accept the participation of the fascist party Svoboda and other forces of the right sector. Equally reprehensible is that the West, the federal government, in spite of this strong fascist influence the decision not confronted, but the violent protests cheering until the last was. Thus they have helped to make fascists acceptable.
The involvement of fascists on the Ukrainian government has initiated wide-ranging international criticism: The collaboration with fascist, neo-fascist and right-wing populist parties must not be freed from taboos. The Left has to work with anti-Semitic and revisionist history forces in Ukraine always sharply criticized. The trivialisation of fascists in Ukraine must be terminated immediately. There should be no financial assistance from the federal government and from the EU, as long as fascists are part of the government. On the contrary, the people must be helped antifascist democratic organizations should be supported.
The transitional government in Kiev, the occupation of public buildings valued positively the “Maidan”, speaks in similar actions in the east of the country of “terrorists” and is based on ultimatums and threats of violence. And the governments of Germany, the EU and the U.S. measure again double standards. Yanukovych was criticized rightly for his terrorism vocabulary and asked for a political solution. But the “anti-terrorist operation” of the unconstitutional President Turchinov is used politically backed by the West, although this uses even the military and the newly recruited National Guard.
The protests on the Maidan and all consequences are long since not only Ukrainian domestic political event more.They are part of, in detail, to control each different interests of the U.S., the EU and Russia, this region economically, politically, and militarily. The interests of the great powers and the European Union are not identical with the interests of the citizens of Ukraine and the policy of European left-wing parties. The Left fights for a redistribution from top to bottom, for democratization and militarization. For the Left, the European borders are not between nations, but between the top and bottom. The internationalization of the conflict in Ukraine has also meant that the key to resolving the conflict in Ukraine is not alone in Kiev.
To secure the peace in Europe and for the further development of Ukraine proposes the Left front:
- All invited to the conflict remain involved on military threats and even to renounce the use of force. Also internationally wrongful territorial connections may not exist. The use of the National Guard in the eastern part of Ukraine should be stopped immediately. The deployment of units of NATO and the Bundeswehr in neighboring countries of Russia is to be reversed. The U.S. and NATO must forego the installation of the missile defense shield in Europe. The modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in Germany should be avoided in the present must be deducted.
- The conflicts over the Ukraine can only be solved through negotiations. At the negotiations must be involved at the international level in addition to the countries of the “Budapest Memorandum” USA, UK, Russia and France, Poland and Germany. It must be held binding that neither Georgia nor Ukraine will become members of NATO.The statement of the Federal Government that a NATO membership for Ukraine currently would not be on the agenda, not reached out. It would be welcome if the constitutions of Georgia and Ukraine, the waiver will be recorded on a membership in military alliances.
- A new Eastern and détente, the conditions for overcoming the confrontation must be created: Europe needs a new collective security system with the participation of Russia, which overcomes the NATO and aims to disarmament. A new Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe is reasonable. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) needs to be strengthened and expanded. You could be the framework for a new Helsinki conference and a collective security system in Europe. With the deployment of military observers and suggest that these were members of the Geneva OSCE Mission, the Federal Government agreed by all parties to the conflict OSCE Mission has done a great disservice.
- Ukraine, as a bridge between the EU and Russia should not be faced with the decision “pro EU” or “per Russia” from both sides. The Left wants in solidarity with Russia, with the Eastern European member states of the EU, with Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, as well as with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. This is the response of the Left to the “enlargement” of NATO and the “policy of the Eastern Partnership” of the European Union.
- The parties to the conflict, including the “insurgents” in the Southeastern Ukraine and democratic forces of the Maidan, must be involved in finding solutions to the conflict. Round tables under the mediation of the OSCE are a possible format for a necessary dialogue. Fascist forces as the party Swoboda and the “rights industry” must not be involved in democratic solution attempts.
- With the President unconstitutional employed there shall be no other international agreements that are made illegitimate. Only after the formation of a legitimate government further negotiations can be conducted.Financial Aid presuppose previous democratic elections and the resignation of the fascists and the right sector of the transitional government. As long as the Nazis are in the government, it is totally unacceptable, even thinking about emergency loans.
- The conflict in Ukraine are serious social problems as a basis. To solve it, the attraction of the assets of all oligarchs is required, the large share of the impoverishment of the population had continued with its policy of ruthless enrichment.
- The agreement of February 21, 2014 must be implemented. The relationship between Eastern and Western Ukraine needs to be reorganized and democratic. A federalization of Ukraine is to provide serious debates. Legal guarantees are intended to protect the local and regional self-government.
- For grants from the EU and IMF, or in a deletion of foreign debt there must be no dictation towards welfare cuts. For people in the Ukraine it would be no progress if the exploitation by the oligarchs of the austerity of a “troika” or dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be replaced.
- Fascist organizations and armed formations in Ukraine are to be prohibited. Weapons of these formations have to be confiscated under control of the OSCE. The acts of violence in connection with the Maidan protests and with the arson attack on the Trade Union House in Odessa are carefully and transparently clear up by an independent international commission of inquiry.
Territorial integrity, sovereignty and the inviolability of borders must be secured again. Only a commonly agreed return to international law is the guarantor of security in Europe.
The Left supports actions of the peace movement and the anti-fascist movement which is directed against the growing threat of war, preparation for war, the escalation policy and fomenting fascism and nationalism.
Our place is where a peace party belongs: on the side of those who stand up for peace and democracy. We are on the side of reason and also says here:
- Yes to an immediate stop all arms exports.
- No to sanctions.
- No to the logic of escalation.
- No to the use of military force.