Abolish Nato, says Independent MEP Mick Wallace

Richard Boyd Barrett condemns Russia but says Ireland should ‘not line up with Nato’

Independent MEP Mick Wallace has criticised the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and called for Europe to campaign for its abolition in the wake of the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

In a social media post after Russian president Vladimir Putin formally recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday, Mr Wallace claimed that "only a full scale war between Russia and Ukraine would satisfy Nato".

"The people of Europe must campaign for the abolition of Nato – it has nothing good to offer anyone that prefers peace to war," wrote Mr Wallace, who voted against a European Parliament motion to offer €1.2 billion in loans to Ukraine.

The package had been proposed last week by the European Commission amid looming fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. A majority of MEPs supported the loan, with 598 voting in favour, 52 against and 43 abstaining.

Fellow Independent MEPs Clare Daly also voted against. Mr Wallace has previously denied being pro-Russian. However, he has said he "fights the anti-Russian and anti-Chinese rhetoric".

Hands off

The Irish Anti-War Movement has organised a demonstration outside the Dáil on Thursday evening to protest against a war in Ukraine, saying both Nato and Russia should keep “hands off Ukraine”.

Speaking outside the Dáil, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said that the "voice of opposition to war" must be heard "given the extremely dangerous and worrying developments"

Condemning Russian "incursions", he said they should not "be used as an excuse for Ireland to line itself up with Nato or to give succour to the idea that military action by the West" can help.

Russia needs “to be condemned and condemned roundly”, Mr Boyd Barrett said, but “we need not to be one-sided in this and recognise that the expansion of Nato into eastern Europe has also helped inflame this extremely dangerous situation.

Ireland has said nothing about Nato’s “game-playing of expanding into eastern Europe and potentially inflaming this extremely dangerous conflict”, he added.