Legislators' actions on Russian invasion of Ukraine and increased nuclear threats

Statements and actions by PNND members opposing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, expressing concern about the increasing nuclear threats and promoting ways to address these issues.

Many PNND members have taken action to oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine, express concern about the increasing nuclear threats and promote ways to address these issues.

Below are a few of those actions, plus an invitation to endorse Fulfil the NPT: From nuclear threats to human security.

US Congress members condemn Russian nuclear threats and call for no-first-use

On March 2, PNND Co-President Senator Ed Markey (USA) released a joint statement of the US Congress Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group, which he co-chairs, condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and “President Putin’s threats to escalate a conflict of his own creation into nuclear war”, and calling on the United States, Russia, and all nuclear powers to back a No First Use nuclear policy in order to ensure that the crisis in Ukraine – or any other conflicts involving nuclear armed states – do not escalate into a nuclear war.

The joint statement also calls for diplomacy and military-to-military communications during this crisis. “so that “red-lines” are not inadvertently crossed.”

It is in the fog of war that there is the greatest risk that a conventional conflict escalates into a nuclear one. President Putin should recall what he said in January, along with leaders from the United States, France, China, and the United Kingdom, that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

PNND Japan statement

Also on March 2, PNND Japan led by Taro KONO (former Foreign Minister and Defence Minister of Japan) released a statement condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, his threats to possibly use nuclear weapons and his actions of putting the Russian nuclear forces on high alert. The statement laments the Russian violation of the Budapest memorandum which will have serious implications for nuclear non-proliferation.

PNND Japan Statement (English, Japanese)

“Nuclear weapons, if used, will bring devastating consequences in large areas. As parliamentarians of the only country suffered by atomic bombings during wartime and who know the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, we strongly urge Russia to cease the attack and withdraw its forces back to Russian territory immediately”

Scottish All Party Group statement

On March 3, the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament, convened by PNND Co-President Bill Kidd, released a Statement on the Invasion of Ukraine and International Security Implications which condemns the invasion, expresses grave concerns about the potential use of weapons of mass destruction, condemns conventional attacks already taking place against civilian populations, and condemns the mass arrests of anti-war protestors in Russia.

We urge all states to commit to no use of nuclear weapons, to re-engage with NPT commitments, and to look at all international treaties that could offer a way out of nuclear entanglement.

Inter-Parliamentary Union statement

The Inter-Parliamentary Union, a body of 178 parliaments, released a statement on February 26 condemning the invasion of Ukraine, deploring the catastrophic loss of life and human suffering and expressing concern at the  devastating consequences for the people of Ukraine in particular but also for the people of the Russian Federation and the whole world.  

PNND is a permanent observer of the IPU and many PNND members are IPU delegates for their national assemblies or hold IPU leadership positions, including the current IPU President Duarte Pacheco and the IPU Honorary President Saber Chowdhury.

We appeal to the members of both houses of the Russian Parliament to assume their responsibility before history, to join efforts to bring about a cessation of hostilities and seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict through meaningful dialogue. It is the duty of parliamentarians to always advocate for peace rather than promote war.

Uta Zapf: Where did the European Security Consensus Fall Apart?

In order to explain the background to this conflict and other key conflicts between world powers, Uta Zapf, former Chair of the Bundestag Subcommittee on Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation and former PNND Co-President, published an article Where did the European Security Consensus Fall Apart? From the Helsinki Final Act to the Ukraine Crisis.

Ms Zapf provides very important analysis on key security institutions – in particular the United Nations, NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – how they have evolved over the past 40 years, where mistakes have ben made that have exacerbated conflicts, and how the institutional instruments for peace could be better used.

Institutions for peaceful settlement of disputes are in place around the world. The toolboxes are filled, they have been expanded and improved over the years. The most important organisation is the UN. For Europe, it is the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) as the successor to the CSCE (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe), the EU and NATO.  Each of these organisations claims to be responsible for security and peace. Each of these organisations has developed its own instruments for this purpose. None of these organisations can work alone; effective cooperation is always needed. Interlocking institutions are an urgent requirement for success.

Fulfil the NPT: From nuclear threats to human security

In August, 2022, the States Parties to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) will meet in-person at the United Nations in New York for the 10th NPT Review Conference

This is one of the most important inter-governmental events on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament to take place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NoFirstUse Global invites you to endorse Fulfil the NPT: From nuclear threats to human security, an Open Letter to the States Parties of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. (Also available in French and Italian and Spanish)

The open letter calls for nuclear risk reduction measures including adoption of no-first-use policies, committing to a time-bound framework for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, and reducing nuclear weapons budgets to release resources for public health, climate protection and sustainable development.