New Delhi: The Left parties on Friday condemned Russia’s military action against Ukraine, but defended Moscow’s right to demand security guarantees amid efforts to induct the country it shares a border with into NATO.
The CPI(M) issued a statement saying there should be an immediate cessation of armed hostilities.
“After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States-led NATO has been steadily expanding eastward, contrary to the assurance given to Russia. The efforts to get Ukraine to join NATO would pose a direct threat to Russia’s security,” it said.
“Russia is also concerned about its security due to the threat posed by the presence of NATO forces and missiles at its borders in eastern Europe. Hence, the Russian demand for security guarantees, including Ukraine not joining NATO, is legitimate,” the CPI(M) statement said.
It further stated that the refusal by the US and NATO to meet the Russian security needs and the “belligerence of the US” in sending troops to the region have further escalated tensions.
“For peace to be established, the genuine concerns of all the peoples, including of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, should be addressed. The process of negotiations should be restarted and the earlier agreements reached by both the parties should be adhered to.
“The CPI(M) urges the Indian government to immediately take steps to ensure the safety of the thousands of Indian citizens, mainly students stranded in Ukraine and undertake measures to evacuate all Indian citizens,” it said.
The CPI too adhered to a similar line and said that while it stood by its uncompromising position that war is not the solution for any geo-political conflict in any part of the world, the move to include Ukraine into NATO would be a threat to world peace.
“They could be solved only through peaceful means and meaningful dialogue. The CPI is of the opinion that the US move to expand NATO to the East and any part of the world would be an eternal threat to world peace. CPI urges the government of India to do everything possible to ensure the safety of all Indian citizens living in Ukraine. The authorities of Indian missions in the region need to be asked to take up this issue with utmost urgency,” it said in a separate statement.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam has also written to the Ministry of External Affairs, seeking its intervention to ensure the safe return of hundreds of Indians who are stranded in Ukraine.
“The government must be aware that more than 20,000 Indians reside in Ukraine, including students. With the break out of military operation in Ukraine, the measures taken by the Indian government need to stepped up. While many have managed to return, several are stuck.
“With the Ukranian airspace being closed to civilian flights, I urge the government that every option should be explored for the emergency evacuation of Indian nationals including the rail and road methods,” he said in the letter.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Thursday following weeks of high tension.