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Tell NATO and the U.S. to stop escalating conflict in Ukraine

Right now, there is a dangerous escalation of tensions at the Russia/Ukraine border and the real possibility of a military conflict that could easily spiral out of control. The United States and NATO have played a major role in exacerbating this conflict and we must now call on them to play a role in its de-escalation.


Dear US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, 

We write to you as people concerned about the dangerous escalation of tensions at the Russia/Ukraine border and the real possibility of a military conflict that could easily spiral out of control. We feel that the United States and NATO have played a major role in exacerbating this conflict and must now play a vital role in its de-escalation.

NATO expansion contributed greatly to the roots of the present crisis by violating the agreements that brought the original Cold War to an end and reunified Germany. NATO should have kept its promise not to expand eastward. Instead, it has added 11 member countries that were once either Soviet republics or members of the Warsaw Pact, to triumphantly march a Western military alliance right up to Russia’s borders.

Russia has always been opposed to Ukraine entering NATO. In 2008, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko first applied for NATO membership, President Putin called Ukrainian membership "a direct threat" to Russia. NATO should recognize and respect Ukraine’s independence and neutrality, and should not antagonize Russia by allowing it to enter NATO, and neither the U.S. nor NATO should go to war with Russia to reunify Ukraine by force. 

Tensions with Russia have also been exacerbated by counterproductive NATO military exercises clearly intended to intimidate Russia. There is no equivalence between Russia conducting military exercises and troop movements within its own borders and NATO members flying in thousands of North American and Western European troops and deadly weaponry to conduct exercises directly across those same borders. 

We cannot risk a military confrontation between the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear states–the United States and Russia. What we need instead is vigorous diplomacy to promote de-escalation and seek a negotiated solution, to avoid war and advance the Minsk II diplomatic process. That will be in the best interest of all NATO nations, the Russian people, all the people of Ukraine, and the world community.

Signed:

*For a more detailed background on the crisis in Ukraine, click here.

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