Ukraine needs new buffer zone

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THE West are reopening the Cold War by their attempts to get Nato forces, missiles etc on Russia’s border with the Ukraine (News, 23 March). There is no way Vladimir ­Putin could accept this.

Crimea rightly belongs in Russia, and the West should accept that and agree terms.

A Western-facing Ukraine can never be stable with 50 per cent Russian speakers. To survive they need to bring down their share of pro-Russian Russian speakers well below 25 per cent.

To do this not only will they have to give back the Crimea, they will also have to divest themselves of an area in the east where Russian-speakers are well above 60 per cent.

Crimea will be fully part of Russia, and Russia will be free to dispose its forces there, but the part of Ukraine transferred to Russia because of its high concentration of Russian speakers – “Eastern Ukraine” – and the West-facing part, “Western Ukraine”, will be neutral buffer zones with only limited numbers of troops.

Western Ukraine would agree not to join Nato and Russia would agree not to put or support troops in Eastern Ukraine for a period of ten or more years.

John Smart, Lossiemouth