The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 30th November 2018

Playing with fire

NOBODY KNOWS what the Kiev regime actually hoped to achieve in sending three gun-boats into restricted Russian waters in the Sea of Azov last weekend apart from the Ukrainian president and his masters in the Pentagon.

The Russians don’t deny the Ukrainians navigation rights through the Kerch Strait but permission to sail into Russian territorial waters must be sought and granted by the Russian authorities under a bilateral treaty signed in 2003 that is governed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Under that treaty, Russia has the right to inspect any vessel sailing to or from the Sea of Azov. But the Ukrainians began to bleat when the Russians began imposing checks on ships passing through the new bridge that connects Crimea to the rest of the Russian Federation this year.

It all ended predictably badly for the Ukrainian navy whose three ships were forced to surrender to the Russians after one of their ships was rammed by a Russian warship. Three wounded Ukrainian sailors are now being treated in a Russian hospital while the rest of the crews remain detained along with their ships in Russia.

The Russians suspect the motive was simply to give the Ukrainian leader, Petro Poroshenko, a good excuse for declaring martial law to help him rig the presidential elections in March. But a deeper motive must lie behind this childish provocation.

The Ukrainians wouldn’t have dared to have sent their ships in without the go-ahead from the Americans and their NATO allies who prop up the fascist regime. So we can only assume that the war-lobby in Washington want to force Donald Trump to call off his talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit next weekend and move for more imperialist sanctions against the Russian Federation.

British imperialism stands shoulder to shoulder with the most reactionary circles within the American ruling class. The war lobby or “deep state” that bestrides both the major parties that serve the American ruling class seems determined to take confrontation with Russia and China, and anyone else that stands in their way, to the brink of nuclear war.

The anti-war movement has a crucial role in renewing the campaign within the labour movement to break Britain’s link with US imperialism, scrap the Trident nuclear weapons system and campaign for the end of the sanctions regimes and economic blockades against Democratic Korea, Cuba, Russia and China.