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Sending troops towards Russia won't make us safer

British troops in training

Sending troops towards Russia won't make us safer

The Peace Pledge Union has said that it is unrealistic and naive to suggest that sending British troops to the Arctic will make people in the UK any safer.

"Defence" Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that 800 troops form the British army and marines will be sent to the Arctic this winter. He said this is in response to increased Russian submarine activity in the area.

But the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) said that the Russian government and NATO governments are both justifiying aggressive military policies by saying that they are responding to each other. 

The PPU supports peace activists in Russia who are campaigning against Putin's militarist policies, as well as other people around the world who are opposing the militarist policies of their own governments. 

PPU spokesperson Symon Hill said, "As Conservative Party conference begins, Williamson appears to be trying to distract us from real concerns about insecurity. People losing their homes, queueing at food banks or struggling with insecure employment won't be made any more secure by gung-ho announcements about sending troops towards Russia. 

"Vladimir Putin uses the presence of British troops as an excuse for his own aggressive militarism. Meanwhile, British ministers and other NATO governments use Putin's militarism as an excuse to justify their own. This spiral isn't making anyone any safer. It just gives people like Vladimir Putin and Gavin Williamson an excuse to look tough while making the world even more unstable. People around the world need to resist militarism in all countries." 

In November, the UK government will send 3,000 troops to join in a NATO training exercise in Norway, the largest of its kind since the end of the Cold War. Around 40,000 NATO troops are expected to take part in the exercise, which will almost certainly be used by Putin as an excuse for increased Russian military activity. 

The UK government maintains the seventh highest military spending in the world.