Peace activists slam plans to pour more weapons into Ukraine war


May 16, 2023 by

Peace activists slam plans to pour more weapons into Ukraine war

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at Chequers, the country house of the serving Prime Minister, in Buckinghamshire, May 15, 2023

LONDON – Anti-war campaigners slammed today British government plans to pour yet more weapons into the war in Ukraine, warning it would be “disastrous for the people of Europe and the world.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky to his country mansion at Chequers in Buckinghamshire and promised him hundreds more missiles, pilotless warplanes and drones with a range of more than 200 kilometers (124 miles).

Sunak said Britain would be “training Ukrainian citizens to be absolutely combat-ready aircraft pilots” with knowledge of NATO tactics.

Britain was first to step up the flow of weapons to include tanks by sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.

President Zelensky has been touring western European countries seeking more weaponry including warplanes.

Lindsey German, of the Stop the War coalition, said the plans risked turning the conflict from a proxy war between NATO and Russia to a “hot war” putting millions at risk through escalation.

She told the Morning Star (The UK’s daily socialist newspaper): “It is clear that the British government is pushing desperately to send fighter aircraft to Ukraine as part of the ‘jets coalition.’

“Countries, including the U.S., have refused to do so, so far, recognizing that air warfare would turn the war between NATO and Russia from a proxy one to a hot war.

“This is disastrous for the people of Europe and the world.

“But right-wing governments, including that of Rishi Sunak, and the Polish government, are determined to make it happen.

“That is the purpose of Zelensky’s European grand tour: it is to amplify those warmongering voices for whom billions spent on arms to Ukraine are never enough.

“This is exactly the line urged by Boris Johnson and Liz Truss earlier this year, and it will lead to much further escalation.

“It is on top of cruise missiles and drones already committed.

“Sunak likes it because he thinks it deflects from his domestic unpopularity.

“Socialists and anti-war campaigners must oppose these weapons being sent — both because they increase the danger of all-encompassing war, and because the money spent on arms would be much better spent on helping people here and Ukraine.

“At £2 million each (more than 2.5 million dollars), how many cruise missiles would it take to house the homeless or give the nurses a decent pay deal?”