More than 20 peace activists from Sweden, England, Nepal, Canada and the US will journey to Russia on April 25-May 10 for a study tour intended to build a peace bridge between the people of their nations.
The trip is being organized by the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN).
Dave Webb, chair of the UK’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (and also board convener of the GN) said,
“We want to see and hear for ourselves what Russia is really like. We want to meet with Russian citizens, teachers, students, political leaders, journalists and others in order to listen and to ask questions so we can get unfiltered information.”
This Russia study tour will have three components.
• Moscow: Arrive on April 25·
• Crimea: On April 30 the group will fly to Crimea
• St Petersburg: On May 5 the group will fly to St Petersburg
Members of the GN and Veterans For Peace will make up the bulk of those going on the trip.
“As tensions grow between the US and Russia and Washington pulls out of the ABM Treaty, the INF Treaty and the Iran Nuclear Deal, we believe it is time for more contact and greater understanding between all our nations. The demonization of Russia has been non-stop in recent years all across the west. US is twisting the arms of Sweden and Finland to get us to join an ever expanding NATO and allow war games and bases aimed at Russia onto our lands,” said GN board member Agneta Norberg (Swedish Peace Council).
Not since the height of the Cold War in the 1980’s have tensions been so great between Russia and the US. Washington now regularly blames Russia for nearly every ill in the world.
The US annual military budget is $1 trillion per year (when you add up all the various military pots of gold) while Russia spends about $60 billion per year on their military. (Moscow has cut their military budget the last two years claiming they wanted to invest more in national development projects and dealing with poverty.)
“When Trump made his recent announcement calling for the ‘Space Force’ he indicated that the US must ‘control and dominate’ space and deny Russia and China access to space during times of hostility. That is a provocative declaration that will drive a new expensive and destabilizing arms race,” said Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network.
“The US refuses to renounce its first-strike policy. We are in more danger of nuclear war than ever as recent US construction of ‘missile defense’ launch bases in Romania and Poland reduce the flight times to reach Moscow to 10-12 minutes. We’ve got to do all we can to break down these walls being erected between the west and Moscow. Instead we need to build peace bridges between our countries.”
For Immediate Release
• Bruce Gagnon (GN Coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org
• Dave Webb (UK CND) email@example.com
• Agneta Norberg (Swedish Peace Council) firstname.lastname@example.org