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No talks between Putin and Trump on Ukraine peace – Kremlin

Politico earlier reported that the Republican frontrunner wants NATO to ditch its expansion plans

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican frontrunner in the US presidential race Donald Trump have not held any backroom talks on resolving the Ukraine conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Politico reported, citing two Trump-aligned national security experts, that the former president is contemplating a deal under which NATO would refrain from further eastward expansion, abandoning its plans to bring Ukraine and Georgia in. This plan would also reportedly involve talks with Putin “over how much Ukrainian territory Moscow can keep.” 

Asked by reporters on Wednesday to comment on whether such a dialogue was taking place, Peskov said that “this is not true.” In May, the spokesman said that Putin and Trump maintain no contact.

The 45th US president has repeatedly said that he would end the Ukraine conflict within 24 hours if elected, although the exact details of this plan are unclear. Reuters reported last month that Trump advisers had drawn up a roadmap for peace in Ukraine that would include an initial ceasefire based on the battle lines during peace negotiations, while Kiev would not have to formally cede any disputed territories to Moscow. As part of the plan, Russia would also reportedly receive a promise that Ukraine’s NATO accession talks would be put on hold.

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Former US President Donald Trump.
Trump advisers have a Ukraine ‘peace plan’ – Reuters

Commenting on the report, Peskov did not dismiss the roadmap out of hand, but noted that the “value of any plan lies in the nuances and in taking into account the real state of affairs on the ground.” 

Last month, Putin said that Russia is ready to immediately open peace talks with Ukraine once it withdraws troops from Donbass and two other of its former regions and agrees to commit to a neutral status, adding that the final deal should be recognized internationally and pave the way for the lifting of Western sanctions against Moscow. Trump has said that those terms are unacceptable.

Both Ukraine and its Western backers have dismissed the offer. Since late 2022, Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has been promoting his ten-point ‘peace formula’, which demands Moscow withdraw from all territories it claims as its own and calls for a tribunal to be established to prosecute Russian officials and service members for alleged war crimes. Russia has dismissed the plan as detached from reality and a non-starter for talks.

July 03, 2024 at 07:51PM

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