Social Democrats reflect on Ukraine war, European security

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Leaders of nine Social Democratic parties in Europe declared unwavering support Wednesday for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion and discussed future European security.

Social Democrats from Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, Slovenia, Finland and Croatia met in Warsaw for a two-day conference about the war and the ways it has altered European politics.

Former Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, president of the Party of European Socialists, said there was no going back to “business as usual” with Moscow. He stressed that Europe must make sure Ukraine wins the war and that any peace agreement is struck on Kyiv's terms.

His party is a coalition of Socialist, Social Democratic, Labour and Democratic parties in the European Union, the U.K. and Norway.

Lars Klingbeil, the co-chairman of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, recently visited Kyiv and spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He stressed that Ukrainians were fighting for European values as well as their country and should receive all available support.

Klingbeil told reporters the Leopard 2 tanks that Germany has pledged would make it to the front lines in Ukraine this month.

Participants at the meeting discussed the future leadership of NATO, since Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's term ends in October.

The meeting's host, the head of Poland's New Left party, Wlodzimierz Czarzasty, mentioned Poland's former left-wing president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, as a possible candidate to lead the alliance.

During Kwasniewski's 1995-2005 presidency, Poland joined NATO and the European Union.

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The Associated Press