We note with great concern that UK and US troops will participate alongside Ukrainian troops in joint military exercises on Ukrainian territory in July as part of NATO’s Rapid Trident manoeuvres. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Its participation in military exercises by a nuclear-armed alliance with a first-strike policy can only further destabilise the situation in the Ukraine, making it more difficult to achieve a political resolution to the crisis.
The existence since 1997 of the Rapid Trident exercises, their forerunner Peace Shield, and the associated Sea Breeze naval exercises in the Black Sea, make clear that NATO seeks to include Ukraine as part of its eastward expansion which has been taking place since the end of the Cold War.
We call on the British government to urge the US and other NATO governments to cancel this July’s Rapid Trident exercise, and to give a plain and public undertaking that Britain will not participate.
We call on the UK government and the Welsh Assembly to make clear that NATO’s expansionist policies are adding to global instability, and urge everyone to join our protests at the 2014 NATO Summit which is due to take place in Newport, Wales, in September.
Kate Hudson General Secretary of CND
Lindsey German convenor of Stop the War Coalition
Caroline Lucas MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John Rees Stop the War Coalition
Baroness Jenny Tonge
Ken Loach film and TV director
Mark Rylance actor
Miriam Margolyes OBE actor
Michael Rosen author and broadcaster
Salma Yaqoob former leader of the Respect Party
Andrew Murray chief of staff for Unite union