Letter: West must not marginalise Ukraine in search of a deal

In your news report you quote António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, as saying that impending food shortages are due to “the Ukraine war”(“Global hunger risk rises as talks stall on Ukraine grain blockade”, Report, June 9).

But war is not a person. It cannot make decisions.

The decision to block the export of wheat from Ukraine is a military one made by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. He will negotiate only about the subjugation of Ukraine in order “to regain territories that Russia has lost”.

In her Global Insight column “West acts fast to avoid food crisis and negate Moscow’s blame game” (June 9) Emiko Terazono quotes Ilana Bet-el, a political analyst at King’s College London saying: “At a certain point, with so [many countries] depending on grain out of Ukraine, [the west] will have to take the risk and [come to an agreement with Russia].”

This is partly because of the need to prevent mass migration from Africa and Asia to Europe. And, as usual, marginalising Ukraine is the way the west settles its problems with Russia.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy clearly said that “stalemate with Russia is not an option”, because he understands well what Putin wants. The Ukrainian president stressed that Ukraine needs the rapid supply of promised long-range heavy weapons, which it is not getting soon enough.

It would not be surprising if the west tries to wriggle out of that commitment too.

Boris Danik
North Caldwell, NJ, US

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