Putting oil and gas before human life

Sir – The EU was fatally wrong when it saw nothing dangerous in Nato’s expansion into eastern Europe in spite of Mr Putin’s unambiguous message that if Russia could not have missiles in Cuba, neither could Nato have them on Russia’s borders.

The EU was again wrong when it failed to apply any significant sanctions on Russia after it had reduced parts of Syria (notably Aleppo) to ruins.

The EU was again wrong when it once more failed to apply significant sanctions to Russia after its annexation of Crimea. The EU (particularly Germany and the Netherlands) was again wrong when it made itself reliant on Russian oil and gas.

All along the road to Kyiv, the EU has failed to apply the kind of significant sanctions to Russia that would have crippled its ability to wage war. It has taken the massacre of men, women and children in the Ukraine to prompt the EU to impose the present significant round of sanctions – but it has excluded the most significant sanction of all, one applied to Russian oil and gas. So, what horror is the EU waiting for from Putin – germ warfare, biological warfare, thermobaric warfare, nuclear warfare – before it suddenly realises the only alternative to global nuclear war is the sanctioning of Russian oil and gas and speedy negotiations in which Russia’s Nato concerns are honestly and reasonably addressed?


This last point – the need for rational negotiations with Russia – has been made by Jeffrey Sachs, former adviser to the US administration and by Victor Gao, former adviser to the Chinese government. – Yours, etc,


Rochestown Road,


A chara, – Gerard Toal makes many good points in his article (Opinion, March 12th).

But it is well to remember that the policy of appeasement in the context of war in Europe does not have a happy history.

Also worth remembering in the context of nuclear threats is the 1960s acronym MAD – mutually assured destruction.

– Is mise,


Clontarf, Dublin 3.