Letter from Ashok Malhotra
By exchanging Brittney Griner for Viktor Bout, both President Biden and President Putin have opened up a window of opportunity to stop this useless war in Ukraine. Both Russia and the USA have been spending billions of dollars fighting this senseless war which is killing thousands of young soldiers from both Russia and Ukraine. Now is the best time to start pursuing peace which will benefit both sides equally and the world. Here are the steps toward a diplomatic solution.
First, President Biden should pick up the phone and call President Putin to congratulate him for taking the first step by exchanging Brittney for Viktor.
Second, President Biden should ask President Putin to stop the war for 15 days starting December 16 to December 31. During this time, the people of both Russia and Ukraine could celebrate Christmas. In the meantime, President Biden should send Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his team to meet with their Russian counter parts under the chairmanship of President Volodymyr Zelensky. This meeting can take place in Geneva or The Hague.
Third, all three parties including Russia, Ukraine and the USA should sign a treaty to stop the war in Ukraine starting January 1, 2023. In exchange, Russia should be allowed to open up its oil pipe to sell oil to all the European and other countries. Furthermore, both Russia and Ukraine should open up the port of Odessa and others to send ships loaded with grain, sunflower oil and other consumable food items to feed the starving 40 million or more Africans. Selling these essential grains will make for Russia a huge amount of money. To stop the war in Ukraine is a win-win situation for Russia because it would earn a lot of money, first through the sale of oil to all the European countries and second by selling grain to 40 million Africans who depend on these essential food items.
Let’s learn from the wars of the past and end this destruction by making 2023 the year of peace.