Joint declaration of the delegation of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) and representatives of Ukrainian social movements
Lviv, 6 May 2022
On February 24, 2022, Russian imperialism launched an open aggression against Ukraine. For more than two months, the people of Ukraine have been fighting an unequal battle with the occupying forces, losing thousands of lives and suffering massive destruction. Many politicians in the west as well as in Russia predicted that Ukraine would fall in a few days. But the great mobilization of Ukrainian people in all spheres of life and the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian resistance show how misguided this view was. Meanwhile, many European countries continue to finance the Russian war machine, buying Russian oil and gas.
At the same time, the people of Ukraine are harmed by reforms adopted in the interests of the richest, before and even during the war. These political decisions result in shifting the burden of war to the majority of the population. These reforms include for example the reduction of labour rights for employees and the reduction of taxes on business owners. These changes are accompanied by an accelerating reduction in the social sphere, which creates unbearable conditions for the people of Ukraine affected by the war. In this context, Ukraine continues to meet its debt obligations to the IMF and other creditors. Instead of enriching creditors and world bankers, this money should go to the defence of the country and be used to satisfy the basic needs of the population. Through its policy, the IMF continues to promote anti-people reforms in Ukraine and is increasingly dragging Ukraine into dependency, undermining its independence, and making it difficult to rebuild the country.
The destruction of infrastructure, production, and residential neighbourhoods raises the task of rebuilding Ukraine. We face the urgent question: under what conditions and at what cost rebuilding will take place after the war? Reconstruction based on the primacy of neoliberal politics will lead to even greater poverty and oligarchization. The comprehensive reconstruction of Ukraine is impossible without changing the course of socio-economic policy at the national and world levels.
The response to Russian aggression must be the solidarity of the peoples of the world. Ukraine's victory in the war will weaken authoritarian regimes in Syria, Belarus and other countries, and this will give the world a real opportunity to move towards democratic development with social and environmental justice.
Writing off Ukraine's foreign debt will be a step against the dominance of neoliberalism, built on inequality and exploitation. The precedent of such a policy will pave the way for other countries to have stable development policies that will not punish the poorest people in favour of the richest through unfair lending.
Our left, trade unions, feminists, and human rights defenders, fight to promote Ukraine's liberation and its post-war prosperity, including:
- Withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine, in particular from the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
- Military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, as well as the imposition of tough sanctions against Russia.
- Introduction of a socially oriented program for the reconstruction of Ukraine, aimed at helping the country's population, rather than enriching business elites.
- Renouncing the purchase of Russian fossil fuels, entering a real energy transition, and replacing fossil fuels with other energy sources.
- Abolition of Ukraine's foreign debt and making it impossible to hide funds offshore.
- Support for all refugees, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, religion, etc. Abolition of all discriminatory laws and practices.
- Stopping anti-social reforms in Ukraine and abolishing high administrative fees that hinder the participation of the working class in political life.