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President Biden: We want peace, not war!

Russia’s decision to attack Ukraine militarily has created a horrific crisis and we must call for Russia to stop its attacks. We need an immediate ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table. The United States and NATO have played a major role in exacerbating this conflict and now President Biden must show true leadership not by imposing sanctions that will hurt ordinary Russians, but by engaging vigorous diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine.

Dear President Biden,

We write to you as people concerned about the horrific situation right now in Ukraine and the real possibility that this military conflict could easily spiral out of control with either a nuclear accident or a nuclear war. We agree that Russia must withdraw its troops, but we also recognize the major role that the United States and NATO have played in exacerbating this conflict and we call on you to now promote vigorous diplomacy to end the war and achieve a peaceful agreement.

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, creating legitimate security concerns for Russia.

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 clearly take the position that Ukraine should not enter NATO but should instead be a neutral country.

We also call on you to re-examine the Minsk II agreement. Unfortunately, all sides failed to fulfill their obligations under the agreement; now is the time to promote this framework in seeking a diplomatic solution. 

Diplomacy, not sanctions, is where the solution lies. Sanctions on the entire Russian economy will only hurt ordinary Russians and will spread economic hardship to Europe and potentially, the global community—including here at home with energy prices rising ever higher than they are now. 

We cannot risk a military confrontation between the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear states–the United States and Russia or the risk of a nuclear accident at one of Ukraine’s many nuclear power plant facilities. We cannot tolerate the senseless loss of Ukrainian and Russian lives, the mass suffering of refugees, and the economic hardship on ordinary people that sanctions will impose. 

What we need instead is vigorous diplomacy to end the war, get Russia to withdraw its troops, achieve a negotiated solution, 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.


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