Statement by the French Committee of the European Solidarity Network with Ukraine (RESU)

October 13, 2023

Statement by the French Committee of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (RESU)

"Weapons deliveries must protect and prevent new crimes. The French Committee of RESU calls for Ukraine to be supplied with aircraft, artillery and tanks, as needed and without delay!”

At its General Assembly on 30 September 2023, the French Committee of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (RESU) reaffirmed that the road to peace lies in the Ukrainian popular resistance’s struggle against and victory over the invading armies of Russian imperialism.

In our view, the events that have been taking place since October 7 in Israel and Gaza and the risks they entail—including that of being exploited by Putin in the hope of concealing the Russian imperialist war against Ukraine—reinforce this position. Our support for the struggles of oppressed peoples throughout the world, including the Palestinian people, and our rejection of all acts of violence against any civilian population whatsoever, lead us to reaffirm our support for the resistance, military and civil, of the Ukrainian people.

Pressure for a ceasefire and for slowing or even stopping military aid to Ukraine, combined in effect with the idea of freezing the status quo in the annexed territories, would not lead to peace. Armed conflict would continue in other forms: oppression, torture, rape and the deportation of people and children would continue, without any stabilisation of the status of the occupied zones or of relations among the countries of the region.

As the Russian group Feminist Anti-War Resistance (FAS) has recently declared on receiving the Aachen Peace Prize, which is devoted to "women, men and organisations that, from below, contribute to the mutual understanding of human beings and peoples ":

We call ourselves Feminist Anti-War Resistance, but we are well aware that ”anti-war” is not a privileged pacifism but the recognition of the victim's right to self-defence. Ukrainians cannot say “no to war”, to a war that is already upon them. They cannot say “this is not our war”. They are forced to defend themselves, their homes and their loved ones, often at the cost of their own lives (...)

We want peace, but we want a just peace, without occupied territories, without slavery and torture, without prisons and exploitation, without dictatorships, without silent violence in any form whatsoever...

We support the growing role played by social and feminist movements, such as the "Be like Nina", movement aimed at organising health workers, as well as movements and initiatives that seek to liberate the whole country and that oppose endemic corruption, privatisation, and the neo-liberal policies of the Ukrainian government. These policies are weakening popular resistance and the very recognition of dignity and rights that Ukraine is demanding.

Now, however, Ukraine has to hold out under missile bombardments which will intensify against its infrastructures during the coming winter. Until now, Washington and the European powers have been restricting military aid, particularly of aircraft, forcing the Ukrainian army to advance inch by inch against the densest defensive barriers and the largest minefields in the world, deliberately depriving it of the means to break through quickly, as if to ensure the survival of the Russian regime by sparing it an outright defeat.

We particularly condemn the decisions and declarations of the French government—which tend to set a precedent—in not delivering to Ukraine weapons from the existing stockpiles of the major powers and in making a business out of the production of weapons, thus orchestrating the post-war indebtedness and exploitation of the country and dragging it into the arms race.

For Sébastien Lecornu, the French government's Minister for the Armed Forces, it's not a question of helping to liberate the Ukrainian people, but of providing "opportunities for French industries". According to him, we need to "put Ukraine in the position of a customer".

No! For the oppressed, and for all the peaceful people of the world, weapons must not be commodities!

Faced with a formidable aggressor, the weapons supplied must provide protection and prevent further Russian crimes. This is why the French Committee of RESU is calling for Ukraine to be supplied with aircraft, artillery and tanks, as many as needed and without delay! At a loss? Of course! If necessary, at a loss, and with total transparency as to the impact on the budget and without worsening Ukraine's debt. We must demand its immediate cancellation, as called for by the comrades of the Ukrainian left and social movement organisations.

The Ukrainian people want to liberate their country and put an end to the oligarchs and social injustice.

We are in favour of increased resources for public services and social rights, and against bourgeoning military budgets; in favour of targeted aid to defend peoples under attack and against weapons sold to dictatorships; in favour of the right of peoples to self-determination and against imperialist intervention. Existing weapons should be used as quickly as possible to liberate Ukraine, helping to defeat Putin and end the war, and thereby helping the democratic forces in Russia. It is in this way that the international arms race and the existence of military blocs will most likely be challenged and stopped.

The ties of solidarity with Ukrainian society, which is fighting for its dignity and its rights, are in harmony with our fight for international relations based on equality. This internationalist solidarity is necessary for Ukraine, necessary for all the oppressed, necessary for social movements. That’s what the fight for peace means!

13 October 2023