Two costly and devastating years have passed since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rishi Sunak recently repeated a pledge that the UK would support Ukraine for ‘however long, and whatever, it takes’. Boris Johnson made a similar undertaking - and Sir Keir Starmer has also followed that line.

Such assurances, though well-meaning, seem worryingly open-ended as it could take a very long time for a satisfactory conclusion to this 21st Century European war.

The conflict has reached stalemate with hints of a turning tide, partly due to serious hold-ups in US funding.

It’s interesting to speculate what would the situation be now if in February/March 2022 Ukraine had been made an EU member and fast-tracked into NATO membership.

Unfortunately, as the war grinds on and slips down the news agenda and western support becomes variable, Putin and his cohorts are emboldened. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that only resolute and sustained military might will give Putin pause for thought. And that is expensive in the extreme.

Derek Reed, Middlethorpe Drive, York