With the beginning of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine on the morning of Thursday 24 February, a crisis which had [already] convoluted the domestic and international developments in the region since 2014 [at once] became more wide-reaching and dangerous. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, launched a dangerous new military conflict by ordering a military strike on Ukraine, which could seriously threaten world peace. Russia’s declared objectives in this military offensive are to support the independence and security of Russia and the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine; to prevent Ukraine from joining the NATO military alliance; and to divert its future political course away from militarism and the activities of fascist forces.
The Tudeh Party of Iran condemns Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and is deeply concerned over the catastrophic consequences of this decision by the Russian government. We recognise and affirm that respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all UN member states, as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, constitute the main cornerstones of the UN Charter and [the basis for] peaceful coexistence which must be observed.
It is no secret that the record of aggressive interventions by NATO, Imperialist, and regional powers, is one soaked in blood. We have already witnessed their contempt and disregard for international laws, including the UN Charter, in their arbitrary and bloody invasions of Yugoslavia, Iraq (twice), Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, Somalia, Libya, Haiti, and other countries. This disregard for international laws, as well as bullying tactics and aggression in international relations, creates an atmosphere in which a government like that of the Russian oligarchs can take advantage by using its military and economic capabilities in the face of certain nationalist provocations.
In an article in “Nameh Mardom”, the Central organ of the Tudeh Party of Iran, on 14th February of 2022, we clearly presented the analysis and stance of our Party on the situation in Ukraine, describing it as a result of the provocative and dangerous policies of NATO and imperialist governments – especially the US and Britain – against Russia, and stressed the urgent need to utilise options predicated on maintaining the peace and security of nations. In connection with the issue of Ukraine and its conflict with Russia, our Party endorses the initiation and full implementation of the provisions and mechanisms of the “Minsk Agreements” (September 2014 and February 2015) between the governments of the two countries. These agreements were drafted to end the tensions and military conflict in the Donbas region, as well as recognise Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty. They were signed by both sides; the UN Security Council having ratified them in two resolutions. The current disputes between Russia and Ukraine can be resolved peacefully under the provisions of these agreements and international law.
The refusal of the Ukrainian government to implement the Minsk II Agreement (2015) and declining to recognise self-rule for the two ethnically-Russian regions of Donbass within the framework of the unified state of Ukraine; the Ukrainian government’s complete disregard for the plight of the ethnic Russians harassed and persecuted by extremist and neo-Nazi forces; random attacks by Ukraine’s military on the “Autonomous Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk over recent months and days, confirmed by Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observers; as well as the adding of fuel to this fire by the US and UK, have all contributed to the tensions and laying the ground for a full-scale war.
Furthermore, the current bloody conflict between Russia and Ukraine is rooted in the tensions rooted in the disregard of the imperialist countries and the expansionist aggressive military alliance, NATO, for the agreements reached amidst the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the “Cold War”. In the negotiation between leaders of the imperialist countries representing NATO and the representatives of leadership of the last government of the Soviet Union, on 6 March 1991; the US, British, French, and German governments pledged that NATO would not extend its territory beyond the eastern borders of a reunified Germany into Eastern Europe. However, despite that pledge, NATO – supposedly a military alliance covering Atlantic Ocean countries of Western Europe and North America – has gradually expanded its territory into Eastern Europe over the past three decades, granting membership to fourteen Eastern European countries including three former Soviet republics. This is the reason why the government of the Russian Federation declares that the imperialist states have ignored the commitments made in 1991 and have endangered its security of that country by expanding the territory covered by NATO.
A coup d’état by fascist forces during the 2014 election and the ouster of the elected president led to the Ukrainian government’s request for NATO membership; the influx of modern Western weaponry into Ukraine, which still continues; the training of its military by Western advisers; and the influx of fascist militias into Ukraine’s police and military forces, have effectively expanded NATO’s sphere of influence right up to the borders of Russia, Ukraine’s eastern neighbour. These actions have placed this alliance of aggressors on the verge of establishing of a military base on the very borders of the Russian Federation.
On this basis, the Tudeh Party of Iran condemns the threatening militaristic policy of NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe and the escalation of dangerous tensions that create deadly and destructive conflicts.
The continuing domestic political-economic crises of the powerful Western capitalist countries, especially the United States and Britain, and the rise to power of forces for whom militarism and intervention in other countries have always been their first choices to secure the interests of military monopolies and global domination of imperialist powers, are factors that have increased tensions and the risk of conflict with the Russian Federation in recent years and have even threatened a country like China. For at least the past three months; the imperialist powers, as well as the Ukrainian government, have had the opportunity to find a way to resolve disputes with Russia peacefully under the Minsk agreements, instead of taking irrational and provocative positions and fanning the flames of war. But the record of these governments shows that maintaining peace and protecting the lives of human beings is of little value to them. Rather, their priority is to protect their monopolistic and hegemonic economic and political interests.
Rising tensions over the Ukraine-Russia issue in recent months, and Russia’s military invasion of its neighbour, constitute a dilemma stoked by the US-NATO-EU coalition and the Ukrainian government, on the one hand – and Russia, on the other. The nuclear capability of both [belligerent] sides now pose a huge threat to security and peace in the region. Our Party is deeply concerned about the spread of the recent conflict in Eastern Europe and within the borders of the Russian Federation as well as the spread of the flames of war to the countries of the region.
The Tudeh Party of Iran, along with other progressive forces in the world, considers the continuation and expansion of the Russian war in Ukraine to be against the interests of the peoples living in the two neighbouring countries. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could easily lead to the use of nuclear weapons, which would pose serious new dangers to the world.
The Tudeh Party of Iran considers direct and transparent negotiations to be the only solution to end the current dangerous crisis and hopes that pro-peace forces and international institutions will make every effort to return Ukraine and Russia to the path of constructive diplomacy and dialogue. At this critical juncture, peace forces in all countries – including Russia – can prevent the unification and expansionism of belligerent powers. Every opportunity must be used to resolve disputes peacefully, to reduce tensions, and to establish peace and security for all nations.
It is not humane to play with the lives of millions of people who ultimately are the main victims of such irresponsible adventures.
The Central Committee of Tudeh Party of Iran
February 25, 2022