President Joe Biden, alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, speaks Wednesday in...

President Joe Biden, alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, speaks Wednesday in Warsaw during a meeting with leaders of the Bucharest Nine, the nine countries that make up NATO's eastern flank. Credit: AP/Evan Vucci

What Ukraine needs: peace talks

Indeed, the only solution to ending the war in Ukraine is through negotiations for peace [“Prod Putin, but toward peace,” Editorial, Feb. 22].

More weapons and military assistance will only fuel the conflict and prolong human suffering. What is needed is the vision to build peace and the moral courage to find an off-ramp and a way to prevent a nuclear confrontation.

War is wrong. The evil perpetrated by war is wrong. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is wrong. But to continue and expand the war compounds the wrong. Many more will die. We can argue about whether the war was provoked or preventable, but the imperative now is to end it.

Feb. 24 is the first anniversary of the war. Americans must call on President Joe Biden and Congress to support an immediate cease-fire and to begin negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for an end to the war.

United vigils and calls to our elected officials will send an urgent call for peace in Ukraine and demand the war end now.

— Margaret Melkonian, Uniondale

Will Ukraine turn into another Afghanistan?

Instead of writing blank checks supporting Ukraine in a war which can go on for years, why doesn’t President Joe Biden use all his diplomatic efforts in bringing Russia and Ukraine to the bargaining table?

China will not stand idly by and let the United States and NATO support Ukraine against Russia. China receives some of its oil and natural gas from Russia. In fact, China President Xi Jinping has already scheduled a visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming months.

He and Putin would make formidable allies. Especially at present, when our oil reserves are the lowest in nearly 40 years.

This war must end now. The billions of dollars we give to Ukraine could be used to help remedy our homeless and mental health crises. Inflation is still out of hand, and most American families live paycheck to paycheck. Credit card debt is at an all-time high.

Our home front needs help.

— Marty Orenstein, New Hyde Park

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced last week that the top Senate Republicans were fully committed to providing money and weapons to Ukraine. Then, on Sunday morning news shows, Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Michael Turner, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, confirmed Republican support for providing increased military assistance to Ukraine.

However, former President Donald Trump called for an end to military assistance, and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has criticized our “blank check” commitment. These remarks incentivize Russia to prolong the war, hoping that Trump or DeSantis will be elected, and further incentivize Russia to meddle in our elections.

— Gary A. Zucker, East Meadow

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said his country will be “torn to pieces” if it loses the war, and my alarm bells went off.

It has become clearer than ever that all sides need to find an off-ramp quickly since a Russian regime without any guardrails, while possessing a formidable nuclear weapons stockpile, creates a real and present danger, a potential existential threat to all humanity.

There needs to be a negotiated settlement which immediately ceases all hostilities. The elements of any settlement must allow Russia to save face, and Ukraine to be rebuilt with funds from Russia and the civilized world, not just from the United States.

Russia must offer ironclad security guarantees to Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova and any other surrounding independent states that fear invasion, guaranteeing their independence and sovereignty.

Ukraine must be allowed to join the European Union but not to join NATO. All sides need to give up something substantial to ensure lasting peace.

— Joel Reiter, Woodbury

Congress can show voters solidarity

A reader says reducing salaries of the 535 members of Congress will hardly make a dent in the congressional budget [“Cut salary, perks of Congress? No help,” Letters, Feb. 20].

Perhaps, but to show good faith, the members should be paid the same as the average salaries of their constituents.

This would show solidarity with those who voted for them, and it would also make “we feel and understand your pain and concerns” ring truer. It would also show that they are in Congress as a public service, not to clean up financially.

— Joe Cesare, Copiague

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