The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine, which represents interests of more than 4 million workers and students, is deeply concerned about the escalation of the situation and growing tension between Ukraine and Russia, caused by the unjustified significant build-up of Russian troops in the immediate vicinity of Ukraine’s borders and pressure on our state with regard to its geopolitical orientation. The Ukrainians have the right to determine their own future. Experts estimate that the European region is now closer to war than at any time in the past 30 years. A possible large-scale armed conflict will not only affect our country.

A military aggression against Ukraine will result in significant human, material and financial losses. Workers will also suffer from a large-scale military conflict – millions of jobs will be destroyed, poverty and destruction will flourish, workers’ rights and well-being will be forgotten.

This is why the international trade union movement, back in May 2014 at the 3rd World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation, with 200 million trade union members in 163 countries, called for de-escalation of tensions, respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, disarmament of illegal groups and military formations. All these demands remain very relevant.

Two world wars in the 20th century, local military conflicts in the 20th century showed that military force cannot be used as a tool to promote an ambitious imperial policy. We support the appeal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, the European Parliament, governments and parliaments of foreign states and parliamentary assemblies of international organisations regarding unacceptability of military blackmail against Ukraine by the Russian Federation, which it is carrying out in order to prevent realisation of Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. We consider it necessary to take measures to immediately de-escalate the situation around our country.

The ultimate goal of negotiations is to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders within the framework of the UN Charter, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the 1990 Charter of Paris, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and UN General Assembly Resolution No 68/262 adopted on 27 March 2014.

Human life is of the highest value, and today international organisations, authorities and citizens of Ukraine must do everything possible to prevent war, to establish peace in the centre of the European continent and to ensure sustainable human development.

We cannot leave war as a legacy to future generations!

We consciously choose peace!

Presidium of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine

27 January 2022