New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


Sanctions will not solve conflict in Ukraine

by our European Affairs correspondent

RUSSIAN and Donbas forces are continuing to advance as the Ukrainians withdraw their units from the Donbas whilst stubbornly defending well-fortified positions in the region. Russian missiles have hit military targets in Kiev and other parts of Western Ukraine, including a major military camp near the Polish border.

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, says that the latest raft of unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia by the USA and its allies marks the end of an era. From now on the West will be losing its “global dominance” both politically and economically. Speaking on Wednesday, the Russian leader said that the “myth of the Western welfare state, of the so-called golden billion, is crumbling”. Moreover, it is the “whole planet that is having to pay the price for the West’s ambitions, and its attempts to retain its vanishing dominance at any cost”.

not help

At the United Nations, China’s permanent representative Zhang Jun warned that “the wanton use of sanctions” will not help solve the conflict in Ukraine but only create new problems.

But hopes for an early end to the fighting have been raised following reports that the Kiev regime is now prepared to accept permanent neutrality as part of a peace deal with the Russian Federation.

Last week Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba met on the side-lines of an international forum in a small resort town in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya. Although nothing concrete was agreed, online video negotiations between the two sides are continuing on a daily basis and the Kremlin has confirmed that it would not rule out a meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if more progress is made.

Meanwhile, the Kiev regime claims the Russians are trying to set up a Donbas-style “pseudo-republic” in the Black Sea province of Kherson that is now completely in the hands of the Russian army.

Zelensky says: “The occupiers on the territory of the Kherson region are trying to repeat the sad experience of the formation of pseudo-republics. They are blackmailing local leaders, putting pressure on deputies, looking for someone to bribe,” and claims that the city council rejected a plan to set up a new republic last weekend.

True or false, life is certainly returning to some sort of normality in Kherson. Last week Russian troops delivered over 140 tons of humanitarian aid to the key southern port from Crimea. The Russian military ensured the safety of movement and the delivery of food parcels and other basic needs to the city and the neighbouring localities. Even the underground communist movement has returned to streets with a rally in the centre of town that was addressed by the former mayor Volodymyr Saldo.

And another voice from the past has returned to the political stage to call on Zelensky to make peace with the Russians. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has urged Zelensky to end the war against Russia. “You personally are obliged to stop the bloodshed and reach a peace agreement at any cost. This is what Ukraine, the Donbas and Russia expect from you,” said the former president who fled to Russia after the fascist coup in 2014.

The last legally elected Ukrainian president was sentenced in absentia to 13 years in prison for treason by the puppet regime. Yanukovych now lives in exile in Russia, although some say he’s gone to Minsk, in neighbouring Belarus, to plan some sort of political comeback.