Ukraine: need for pathways to peace

We have today sent the following text in a letter to the UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss.

Quakers are united in distress at the terrible toll that the continuing war in Ukraine is taking on human life. There can be no justification for military action such as that taken by Russia, however strongly grievances might be felt. As a community committed to peace, it pains us to recognise that the situation in which citizens of Ukraine find themselves is one in which armed resistance seems, to most, to be the only option.

We feel compelled, nonetheless, to urge our government to consider the longer-term, and to ask what actions are most likely to create pathways to peace and grounds for reconciliation. What seeds can be sown now that do not leave a legacy of further decades of enmity or create ever-greater tension and mistrust between nuclear powers?

We know that none of this will be easy, but we owe it to current and future generations to find a way forward that takes Europe and the world to a security based on common interest. At a time when we are all facing the real prospect of climate breakdown, this is urgent.

We urge our government to avoid words and actions that lead to an escalation of tensions. At some point, the fighting must stop; what can be done now to bring that point closer and to build a positive future for Ukrainians and Russians whose only desire is to live in peace?

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