CONTACT: ANNA SCHUMANN
(FEBRUARY 25—WASHINGTON) In light of the recent invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine by Russia, Council for a Livable World, the oldest active non-partisan non-profit organization promoting policies to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear risks, released the following statement by its Executive Director, former Congressman John Tierney:
“The Council for a Livable World condemns the actions taken by Russia in its illegal, unprovoked and expansionist invasion into Ukraine and strongly supports Ukraine’s right to defend its sovereignty and people against the sinister actions of Russia in violation of international order and security. We are particularly appalled by Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons, coming so soon after President Putin signed onto a P5 statement that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
President Joe Biden, with support from Congress, must continue to push a strong diplomatic response including leveraging severe international sanctions against Russia in coordination with our European and other partners.
It is necessary to show a united front of economic and diplomatic pressure against Russia’s actions, and we are disgusted at the egregious affront to our nation that a former President and administration officials, together with other right-wing extremists, are choosing to support Russia’s aggression and lawlessness at this time. It is imperative that a unified United States and its allies take every action to ensure that this crisis does not escalate further into the region and, by accident or miscalculation, lead to an open conflict between the United States and Russia, the world’s two largest nuclear powers.
We must also strongly resist the inevitable push by hawks for more U.S. nuclear weapons and more unregulated Pentagon spending as a ‘sensible’ response to this Russian aggression. The United States already maintains the most powerful military and nuclear forces in the world. This situation will not be solved by building more nuclear weapons or ‘more usable’ ones. We cannot allow the vague and mistaken notion that more defense spending equals a safer world to guide U.S. foreign policy when we already spend more on defense than the next 10 nations combined — including Russia.
Outside of our military forces, the United States still maintains the world’s most powerful diplomatic and economic toolbox for dealing with international crises. Every one of these tools should be leveraged to de-escalate this conflict, impress upon Russia the mindlessness of its outrageous conduct, and restore Ukraine’s sovereignty while avoiding a wider military confrontation.
Now is the time to support Ukraine’s defense, assure our allies, and employ the sober and hard-nosed diplomacy that remains one of the United States’ most defining legacies.
As former Secretary Madeleine Albright recently wrote in a New York Times op-ed, it is obvious to the world that neither the United States nor NATO — nor Ukraine for that matter — harbors any intent or wish to destabilize the region or deprive Russia of any legitimate aspirations. Accordingly, it is right for the administration and its allies to seek to engage in talks with Moscow on an open-ended range of security issues. But America must insist that Russia act in accordance with international standards applicable to all nations.
Council for a Livable World will continue to support actions in furtherance of a world ordered by rules, not the backwards and lawless world envisioned by Putin.”