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Pacifists challenge Trump and Putin over nuclear threats

Russian anti-militarist protest, 2011

Pacifists challenge Trump and Putin over nuclear threats

Pacifists and other peace activists have criticised Donald Trump’s latest comments about building up the USA’s nuclear arsenal. They also challenged the response of Vladimir Putin’s government in Russia, who have threatened to respond in kind. 

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) said that Russian militarism and western militarism are two sides of the same coin.

The US President has threatened to pull out of a 1987 nuclear deal, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. He also said the USA should build up its nuclear weapons. The comments follow remarks earlier this year, when Trump said he wanted to develop “usable” nuclear weapons. 

British "Defence" Secretary Gavin Williamson responded to Trump’s comments by saying that the UK government’s support for the USA is “absolutely resolute”. 

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) said that Williamson was again stirring up military conflict. 

The PPU's sibling organisation in the US, the War Resisters’ League, said that Trump’s comments bring the world “another step closer to nuclear disaster”. 

The PPU pointed out that both Putin’s government and NATO governments use each other’s military aggression to justify their own. They called on supporters of peace in all countries to resist militarism in all forms.

Opponents of British and US pacifists often try to accuse them of being sympathetic to Russia, but in reality they support those Russians who are campaigning against Putin and his regime's militarist policies (as pictured above at an anti-militarist protest, for example). 

The PPU is the British section of War Resisters’ International, which unites pacifists across six continents.