Athens for a peace solution to Ukrainian conflict

By Our Correspondent

The ongoing war in Ukraine remains the most disturbing topic in Europe. French President Macron’s recent statement about his country’s possible direct involvement in the war was a sign of possible further escalation.
Pope Francis recently called for an immediate ceasefire. We are also seeing growing concern at the UN about further possible ceasefire and negotiation initiatives.
 Last Thursday, the Greek Parliament hosted a conference on ways to achieve peace in Ukraine. Four prominent members of parliament presented their vision on how to stop the war: Alexandros Markogiannakis, Athanasios Papathanassis, Ioannis Loverdos and Mitiadis Zamparis.
MP Athanasios Papathanassis has expressed an opinion of many Greeks regarding the need for peace: “Ukraine has been the bridge between Europe and Russia and the desire for its control and influence has led to geopolitical confrontations with a global impact. In this disastrous context collective effort and diplomatic flexibility is necessary for promoting and establishing peace”.
The situation was analysed insightfully by the renowned political scientist and media personality Professor Frederic ENCEL  . He expressed scepticism about the chances of peaceful UN involvement and suggested that both sides of the conflict come together to reach a solution. Encel elaborated on France’s policy towards Russia, which has been friendly and balanced for many decades. Now we are in for a change due to fears that Donald Trump’s possible impending victory in the US presidential election will lead to a weakening of NATO.
A special call for peace came from Athens Vice Mayor Elli Papageli. She called for an immediate end to the war through diplomatic means. Vice-Mayor Papageli expressed fears of nuclear war and spoke of its disastrous economic consequences for Europe.
Former CIA analyst and State Department counter-terrorism expert Larry Johnson criticised NATO expansion and European arms supplies to Ukraine. His idea of a peaceful settlement was based on his view that the West was misinterpreting Russia’s intentions. Johnson was critical of Europe and the US and called for “not pouring petrol on the fire”.
Manel Msalmi, president of the European Association for the Defence of Minorities, emphasised the plight of women and children during the war and the need to restore peace. She recalled that during the UN assembly, the UN Secretary General called for peace in the country. She praised Athens as a model of democracy and quoted Aristotle: “Peace cannot be maintained by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.”
She noted that “increasingly, sensible politicians such as the Italian Defence Minister are talking about the start of peace talks, but at the moment the EU is preparing a €50 billion financial aid plan for Ukraine and peace is out of the question in the near future.“
Another issue of concern is the growing corruption in Ukraine, which is directly linked to the war.Ukraine tries to fight against corruption but it is a long and a complicated process. Neither the  US nor the EU has developed an effective mechanism to control how this money is spent.”
All this makes diplomatic efforts to end the war simply necessary. For the sake of Europe and the world. The call for peace through diplomacy of ms. Msalmi was warmly welcomed by all the participants.

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