Sir, – The rhetoric from UK and EU countries has been mainly on how the money funding the Russian army will be cut off by tough sanctions on banking and payment systems, as this is seen as the best weapon to throttle the flow of funds to the Kremlin.
A grand scheme but as your report reveals (Press and Journal, March 3) “sanctions have so far excluded energy from Russia, the world’s largest gas and second largest oil exporter”, a fact alone which suggests a half-hearted approach to sanctions is being applied.
This means the mega millions of dollars will keep gushing in to Moscow as the over-reliant EU countries are snared by their energy supplier, and an alternative is not in sight. The West is clearly “fighting” with one hand tied behind its back.
Angus McNair, Farnachty, Clochan, Buckie.
Negotiations are key to lasting peace
Sir, – It really is quite shocking to witness the horror that’s going on in Ukraine.
Many will be wondering what the deteriorating situation will deliver over the coming days.
I would draw the conversation towards the immediate though: what can be done right now to prevent the Russian beast that’s menacingly stalking Kyiv from being unleashed on the city and razing it to the ground with catastrophic consequences for its population?
President Putin knows well that such an event would be impossible to sell to Russians back home as anything other than what it would be, and he may already be considering how he might avoid this and still retain a position of strength, at least in his own mind.
I believe that immediate talks must be organised, perhaps brokered by the UN, and the Ukrainian delegation should put the following offer in front of the Russians.
A commitment to never join Nato, and to redraw Ukraine’s southern and eastern border around the areas that were annexed by Russia in 2014. And most importantly, in return both sides must agree to an immediate ceasefire, and immediate withdrawal of all Russian forces. And last but not least, Russia, as it signs this agreement, must recognise Ukraine’s international border and its right to exist as a sovereign independent country.
Duncan Maclean, Invergordon, Ross-shire.
Echoes of Ferguson – and Turnbull
Sir – What on earth is going on, or obviously not going on, at Pittodrie?
As a Dons fan for close on 80 years I have seldom been as disappointed by the team’s performance as at the present time.
To be now into March without a league victory is a disgrace for a club of Aberdeen’s standing.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s visit brought back memories of that glorious period in the 1980s when a young man with a rare talent fashioned a group of decent players into a great team that ended the dominance of the Glasgow giants in the Scottish game and added the name Aberdeen to the elite list of European trophy winners.
Contrast that to the present dire situation. A glance at the Premier League table sees the Dons languishing in the lower reaches with the usual suspects a distance above and even “young upstarts” Livingston and Ross County forging ahead.
Remember that when Aberdeen were claiming victory over Bayern Munich and Hamburg on their way to European glory, Ross County were playing Buckie Thistle and Huntly in the Highland League. Now it is debatable which has the better squad. Why can Ross unearth diamonds like Charles-Cook and Hungbo while the Dons flounder around signing one-match wonders?
It is fast becoming clear an Eddie Turnbull-type clear-out may be required to bring an end to the present malaise.
Ivan W. Reid, Kirkburn, Laurencekirk.