An Open Letter to President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation

Dear President Putin:

For the sake of Russians, for the sake of Ukrainians, for the sake of humanity,
please open negotiations to find a price at which the Ukrainian government is willing to relinquish control of the predominantly ethnic Russian areas on the border between the Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

The World needs for you to be the statesman that you frequently have been in the past.

Yes, the U.S. government and its allies acted foolishly concerning the transfer of control of the Crimea. They should not have opposed that transfer because Crimea was never an intrinsic part of the Ukraine. The Ukraine only had control of the Crimea on the condition that the Ukraine was closely tied to Russia. Since the Ukraine wants to seek its fortune with the West it was appropriate that the control of the Crimea should revert to Russia. But the Crimea was a special case.

The areas of the Donetsk Region and other such places are an entirely different matter. They were intrinsically a part of the Ukraine. But things have changed and they will be a constant headache politically and financially for the Ukraine government. The Ukraine government has enough problems; it does not have the resources to cope with such insurrectionist territories. It needs financial help to be able to function as an independent state. The payment for it to relinquish control can be in present and future deliveries of energy from the Russian Federation.

The present line of development of insurrections will not be costless. It will compound the saddest of all tragedies of civic war with a future divorce of the Russian and Ukrainian people. The present and future disruption of trade relations will be costly to Russia.

A voluntary transfer with financial compensation can make both the Ukraine and the Russian Federation better off. This is in contrast to a military confrontation in which both parties try to hurt each other as much as possible.