US foreign policy, Russia and Europe

Sir, – "Pence soothes EU nerves by insisting US is strongly committed to alliance" (World News, February 21st), and "One more try at peace" (Editorial, February 21st) offer views on two major issues confronting all the people of Europe. The Nato defence alliance has helped to maintain peace in Europe since it was established in April 1949. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is a direct threat to the people of that nation, and poses a destabilising risk to the entire region.

An important point to remember is that Michael Pence, as US vice-president, does not set US foreign or security policies. These vital aspects of American government decision-making are now at the whim of Donald Trump’s late-night Twitter musings and off-hand comments (such as Nato being “obsolete”, and his apparent disinterest in a national state for the Palestinians).

Vladimir Putin showed little to no regard concerning previous ceasefire agreements for the Ukraine conflict. The Minsk I and Minsk II agreements were violated by Russian forces virtually before the ink was dry on either document.

Why should anyone believe Mr Putin’s intent will be any different this time?

Hope may spring eternal, yet so do the weeds of reality. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.