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In letter to Putin, St Vincent PM urges Russian President to withdraw troops from Ukraine


KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has told Russian leader Vladimir Putin that as a “long standing friend” of the Russian Federation, he is “deeply disturbed” at the “special military operation” into Ukraine.

Gonsalves read on the state-owned NBC radio, the contents of a “private letter” he had sent to President Puttin, whose military forces have invaded Ukraine as part of the efforts to prevent the Eastern European country from developing closer relationships with western countries and organisations, including the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or Atlantic Alliance (NATO) , an international political and military organisation with the aim of guaranteeing the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

There had been repeated calls by the parliamentary opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) for Prime Minister Gonsalves to release the contents of the letter with the prime minister telling radio listeners on Wednesday that he was going to provide a ‘scoop” to the announcer on the state-owned media.

In the letter, Gonsalves told Putin that the St Vincent and the Grenadines government understood “your articulation of the legitimate security considerations of the Russian Federation and your perspectives on the political situation in the region of Donbas, inclusive of the declaration of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic”.

Gonsalves, however, said that Putin’s government stance on the matter at hand, “taken at its highest in your favour, cannot reasonably justify the special military operation upon which Russia has embarked”.

“Self-evidently, the metaphoric horse and chariot have been driven through the chatter of the United Nations,” Gonsalves said, noting that historically, the Russian Federation has been “a staunch defender” of the Charter of the United Nations, inclusive of “the sacred principles of multilateralism, the peaceful settlement of disputes, sovereignty and independence, non-intervention and non-interference in another country’s internal affairs”.

“As a fellow defender of these principles, as a witness to the insidious effects of interventions and external aggressions across the developing world and as a small island state whose independent existence depends on faithful global adherence to the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter, St Vincent and Grenadines is urging your government to reflect with solemnity and reasonableness on these principles and others and see the special military operation,” Gonsalves wrote.

He told the Russian leader that he had been listening carefully to the views of the leaderships of countries globally.

“Overwhelmingly, world opinion is against your government’s special military operation. Indeed, among true friends of Russia in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia and even in Europe, there is a near unanimous objection and opposition to your government’s military operation.

“From our perspective, the special military operation is neither necessary nor desirable.”

Prime Minister Gonsalves told President Putin that “the special military operation” would “undoubtedly add much suffering to ordinary folks the world over, especially those who are still finding it very challenging to handle a pandemic, climate change and natural disasters”.

“The people of St Vincent Grenadines and the Caribbean will undoubtedly be affected adversely. Please, let us give peace and diplomacy a real chance to succeed. In our view, the nobility of peace is far preferable than an ignoble military adventure.”

Gonsalves said he was aware that some western countries were “engaged in the hypocrisy and doublespeak, and their history of neo-colonialism, imperialism and interventionist adventurism undermines their self-righteous proclamations, but their ongoing agendas and self-righteousness ought not to induce other dangerous errors, such as the special military operation in Ukraine”.

“At a personal level, as a friend of the Russian Federation, I am urging you very strongly to cease the special military operation in Ukraine.

“Peace is a great cause and great causes have never been one by doubtful men and women. I have full confidence in you, a distinguished son of the magnificent Russian civilisation, would weigh carefully what I have written. Let us go forward in peace, security and prosperity for all. Please do not disappoint me.

“All the best to you, your family, your government and people. Please stay in touch,” Gonsalves wrote without informing listeners whether Putin or the Russian government had responded to the letter.


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