What a refreshing change to see commonsense written about the Ukrainian crisis! (Russia`s "sinister" long-term plan? A stable Ukraine,19/02/15) Dejevsky is right to say that sanctions against Russia, and the sabre-rattling by the west, "will only make matters worse".The greeting of last week`s ceasefire deal with "pessimism laced with cynicism" was only to be expected, especially as the UK and US were not involved in the Minsk agreement. We can expect more of "diplomacy`s wrongheadedness" from London and Washington, especially as the Tories will be eager to impress on the British electorate their unwillingness to pander to Putin`s insecurity, acting tough, but exacerbating the problem. Accepting that some of the blame for the Ukraine problem lies with the west would be a far more sensible approach. After all, it was the west who reneged on the promise made to Gorbachev in the various talks which preceded German unity. With West Germany being a member of NATO, and the east a member of the Warsaw Pact, the need for Russian agreement was imperative, and only when Baker, President Bush`s Secretary of State, said that there "would be no extension of NATO`s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east" was Gorbachev persuaded!
Your editorial opines that "making the most of Europe`s and America`s economic advantages" is one way forward, but strangely omits the possibility of long-term economic agreements over the supply of gas and oil.(Cheating and bad faith, but still a chance the ceasefire will change the nature of the conflict,19/02/15) With Russia providing around a third of the EU`s oil, and nearly 40% of its gas, wouldn`t a deal to continue to take the same for the next ten years at an affordable, but considerably higher price than today`s, improve matters, and reduce the possiblity of further military conflict?