We note with great concern that UK and US troops will participate alongside Ukrainian troops in joint military exercises on Ukrainian territory in July as part of NATO’s Rapid Trident manoeuvres. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Its participation in military exercises by a nuclear-armed alliance with a first-strike policy can only further destabilise the situation in the Ukraine, making it more difficult to achieve a political resolution to the crisis.

The existence since 1997 of the Rapid Trident exercises, their forerunner Peace Shield, and the associated Sea Breeze naval exercises in the Black Sea, make clear that NATO seeks to include Ukraine as part of its eastward expansion which has been taking place since the end of the Cold War.

We call on the British government to urge the US and other NATO governments to cancel this July’s Rapid Trident exercise, and to give a plain and public undertaking that Britain will not participate.

We call on the UK government and the Welsh Assembly to make clear that NATO’s expansionist policies are adding to global instability, and urge everyone to join our protests at the 2014 NATO Summit which is due to take place in Newport, Wales, in September.

Kate Hudson General Secretary of CND

Lindsey German convenor of Stop the War Coalition

Caroline Lucas MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP

John Rees Stop the War Coalition

Baroness Jenny Tonge

Ken Loach film and TV director

Mark Rylance actor

Miriam Margolyes OBE actor

Michael Rosen author and broadcaster

Salma Yaqoob former leader of the Respect Party

Andrew Murray chief of staff for Unite union