Release from the PCP Press Office

On the military conflict in the Caucasus and the dangers to peace and international security

The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) deeply laments the loss of human life and the destruction resulting from the military conflict in the Caucasus. It appeals to the end of the hostilities, essential for initiating peace negotiations between Russia and Georgia that, in the opinion of PCP, should be developed within the framework of the UN, based on the principles of international law, the respect for territorial sovereignty and integrity, and the non-interference in internal affairs.

The military and diplomatic developments over the last few days confirm that this conflict cannot be analyzed solely based on the issues of territory and sovereignty between South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It is above all a concrete expression of the modern tendency in the evolution of international situations marked by a new arms race, an increasing militarization of international relations, and an accumulation of scenarios of tension and military conflict enacted by members of NATO and its allies, aimed at achieving the geostrategic domination of important regions of the globe and the control of exploration and transport of natural resources, such as gas and oil.

PCP has been alerting for some time that the intensification of the global offensive character of NATO and its expansion to the border of Russia; the increasing confrontation between the US and NATO with Russia and China; the militarization of the European Union; the destruction of fundamental treaties for the world´s strategic balance, such as the ABM Treaty with the installation of components of the US antiballistic missile shield

in Eastern Europe; the constant threats to sovereign states, like Iran; the persistence of illegal and criminal wars, like those in Iraq and Afghanistan; as well as the injection of armament into Georgia by the US and Israel are explosive factors of instability that are evidently at the root of this present conflict.

We restate our principled position against violations of the territorial sovereignty and integrity of States and the prevalence of diplomacy in the resolution of conflicts. Simultaneously, PCP recalls that it was Georgia - the main ally of the US in the Caucasus, where there is an important US military presence, and whose territory, including Southern Ossetia, have an important strategic value in controlling the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oilduct - who initiated the military hostilities by attacking a territory where there were, under the patronage of OSCE and a mandate from the Community of Independent States, international stabilization forces composed by Russian, Ossetian and Georgian military. That this maneuver could in no case have been decided without previous knowledge and consent by the US, illustrates the subservience to the US and NATO of the current Georgian government, the increasing militarization of the region, the conflictual climate with neighboring Russian and the instigation of ethnic conflict in the region.

This military conflict and the political statements that surround it demonstrate - and are a serious warning against- the dangers that result from a policy of systematic disrespect for international law and of instrumentalization of the UN on behalf of the world imperialist superpowers. This is a demonstration of the effects the precedents of the war of dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the instigation and military protection of Kosovo's succession from Servia have had on the current international situation. Dangers to which PCP alerted in due time and that confirm the fairness of PCP's demand that the Portuguese government not recognize, under any circumstance, the pseudo-independence of Kosovo.

PCP alerts to the existing danger of expansion of this conflict to the whole Eurasian region and the Middle East, and to the consequences that would result from an aggravated arm wrestling between NATO and Russia, or that any military provocation in the Middle East may have upon global security.

We demand the Portuguese government defend peace, and the non-interference and withdrawal of all NATO troops from the Caucasus region, as an essential step toward stabilization. PCP alerts also that this conflict should not serve as a pretext for accelerating the militarization of the Caucasus region, nor for the installation US and NATO military forces in Georgian territory, nor for a policy of political and economic interference and of geostrategic control of the region on behalf of the main powers of NATO.

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