Earlier, I was in favor of them. Now I am against such action.
The horror of the war keeps unfolding. The expectation in cutting off imports from Russia is that their economy will be so affected that Putin will back off.
But judging from his actions in Ukraine, he will not.
The Russian people will suffer, but he will not.
His oligarch friends will be inconvenienced but they owe Putin – knew that the good times wouldn’t last forever – and have made contingency plans.
Meanwhile, our economy and markets will keep deteriorating as inflationary pressures mount.
Together with our allies we’re doing a great deal for Ukraine. But Putin will not stop.
The damage to his reputation and Russia’s economy will be enormous but it will take time to set in.
I know you’re under pressure from many groups, including the president of Ukraine, to do more and more, but we have limits.
The horror of Putin’s actions will not be forgotten.
And the sanctions already imposed will have their effect, so long as we enforce them.
Unfortunately, Putin has the support of China, and they will offer relief to him.
That tells us a great deal about China and how to proceed with them in the future.
They are cut from the same cloth as Putin and, when the time comes, will try to do in Taiwan as the Russian is doing in Ukraine.
You have done an excellent job in building bridges among the free nations of this world but should set limits on assistance to Ukraine.
NATO has been firm about not agreeing to a No Fly zone over Ukraine.
Zelensky wants fighter jets, but how will you hand them over without Russia charging that we have become a co-combatant in the war against them?
The West and the rest of the world can get around everything Russia has to offer. We need to work on it but it can be done.
If we must rely on nuclear plants to reduce our dependence on oil, as technology for renewable sources and battery power grows, so be it. (Ukraine’s power supply is over 50% nuclear)
But as the war heats up, we can’t let Putin drag us down that road. He would love doing that.
So firm limits are needed. We must not appear desperate.
I read that we are now talking to Venezuela about making deals to enhance their oil production.
That would be good for Venezuela (who has ended up in bed with Russia, China and Iran and are now regretting it) and for us but sounding desperate is not a good bargaining position. The Maduro regime will need to make important concessions, such as freeing political prisoners and committing to free elections in 2024.
Same as with the nuclear deal that is presently being negotiated with Iran. Sensing that the West is desperate for their oil will backfire. We’ll end up with a lousy deal, with Russia taking advantage of the situation.
In Ukraine itself, despite their great bravery, the greater chances are that Russia will keep on with their savagery as they murder the population to achieve their aims.
One option is for Ukraine’s army and population to head to their western border and dig in.
That way they will have a steady source of supplies from the alliance – through their border with Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova.
Better a divided Ukraine than no Ukraine at all. For now. Like with East and West Germany after World War II, it will take time to reunite.
The future of mankind is at stake.
We should not get dragged into a nuclear confrontation with Putin because the weight of his cruelty – and of those who support him – will eventually marginalize him. He will not last forever.
Let us stand firm against his crimes against humanity but be careful and patient.
Thank you for the good job and keep it up.
Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts