Lehigh Valley peace group calls for diplomacy to ease Russia-Ukraine crisis

Written by on February 8, 2022

Lehigh Valley peace group calls for diplomacy to ease Russia-Ukraine crisis

By Hayden Mitman
February 8, 2022

Members of the Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern hold a vigil at Fifth and Hamilton streets in Allentown on Feb. 7, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of LEPOCO)

Some Lehigh Valley residents say they are worried about escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. 

Members of the Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern are hosting gatherings to call for a peaceful end to the crisis. 

Listen to the story.

U.S. and Russian diplomats have been in discussions as Russia has stationed more than 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, prompting fears of an invasion.

Nancy Tate of the LEPOCO Peace Center said it’s time to take a step back.   

“Our country, and another country there – Russia, to be specific – are very heavily-armed countries with nuclear weapons and that’s one of the main reasons why we don’t need to be in a situation where countries are playing one-upmanship,” she said. 

LEPOCO organized a peace vigil in downtown Allentown on Monday and plans to host another in Easton on Wednesday. Tate noted a bill is currently before the Senate to send $500 million in military aid to Ukraine, though members of Congress have called for no military action. 

“There’s kind of a way that everything in this country kicks into a war fever when we get into a situation like this,” she said. “We need to be seeing a de-escalation and more diplomacy that talks about finding ways to settle this.”

And while the crisis is simmering nearly 5,000 miles away from the Lehigh Valley, Tate said the stakes are high. She says it’s important for people here to raise a voice against violence. 

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, LEPOCO Peace Center members will gather outside the National Building at Fourth and Northampton streets in Easton.

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