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PM Browne: End senseless war now!

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne is calling for an end to what he has described as
‘the senseless war’ now raging on between Russia and its neighbour, Ukraine.
The prime minister’s call comes in response to reaction to comments he made on
Saturday February 3 on the Browne and Browne show, where he suggested that
Ukraine ought to stand down and to disengage from the war with Russia.
In the earlier statement PM Browne indicated that he would never have subjected
any country of which he was the leader to the type of destruction that Ukraine has
endured in what he saw as a ‘lopsided’ war, noting that in hindsight, the Ukrainian
leader may come to recognize that the price to joining NATO was perhaps a
burden too heavy to bear.
Those comments triggered negative reactions both locally and internationally and
even one local news outlet suggested that the prime minister was ‘siding’ with
Returning to the subject on Saturday, PM Browne reiterated his previous position
and accused one media outlet that said he was ‘siding’ with Russia of not only mis-
quoting him, but for trying to ‘rile up’ international sentiments against Antigua and
Barbuda over the issue.
The prime minister repeated his view that the war in Ukraine must be seen in the
context of the United States military blockage of Cuba in the early 1960’s when
the Soviet Union (with Russia as its dominant member) attempted to set up a
nuclear base in Cuba…a mere 90 miles from the US mainland. Similarly, he noted
one could understand the Russian position with Ukraine, with which it shares a
common border, wanted to join NATO.
He noted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy may have opted to
become a member of NATO with the belief that the United States and Europe
would assist him in time of conflict. However, PM Browne feels that this support
in the US and EU will likely fade over time as the monies being spent on the war
comes from taxpayers in these countries.
“The more money that is spent on that war, the less money is spent on issues such
as climate change and to offer development assistance to countries in the
developing world,” he stated.

Additionally, the prime minister noted that conflicts such as the one taking place in
Ukraine have a ripple effect on cost of living in countries such as Antigua and
“Small island states, such as Antigua and Barbuda, we stand to suffer most. We are
some of the most vulnerable countries and these kinds of situation hurt us. In fact,
we suffer disproportionately because of the war in Ukraine. Prices have jumped
more than 10 percent since early last year because of the war. Its ‘who feels it
knows it’, and we are not burying our hands in the sand and pretend that we are not
affected by this ‘senseless war’,” PM Browne declared.
According to the Prime Minister there ought to be a negotiated settlement of the
war ‘in the interest of everyone’. He added that Antigua and Barbuda has not
changed its position as it has upheld all the United Nations sanctions against
Russia and it has voted in support of Ukraine in that body.
“Our position has not changed; we however feel that the total destruction of
Ukraine is unnecessary and it ought to end and end soon,” he remarked.
He emphasized that the country’s position regarding any country intervening
militarily in another country is something Antigua and Barbuda will never support
and that this is a principle from which it ill never relinquish.

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