Trump makes Ukraine peace claim
Former US President Donald Trump claimed at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Saturday that if elected he could quickly broker a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine. He also lashed out at President Joe Biden’s foreign policy.
“Through weakness and incompetence, Joe Biden has brought us to the brink of World War III,” Trump said.
He vowed to “bring back peace through strength,” stating that the armed conflict between Moscow and Kiev would not have happened had he still been in office.
“My personality kept us out of war,” he said. “If I was president, there would not have been a war with Russia in Ukraine.”
Even now, despite the tremendous loss of lives and destruction of much of that country [Ukraine], I would have a peace deal … in 24 hours.
The statement came as some Republicans have been questioning whether the current amount of US military aid to Ukraine is appropriate. On Friday, four House Republicans sent a letter to Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin expressing concern over Washington’s decision to provide Kiev with M1 Abrams tanks.
Ukrainian officials have said in the past that peace negotiations with Moscow could only happen if Russia surrenders its newly incorporated territories. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree last year stating “the impossibility” of negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky reiterated on Wednesday that he was not interested in meeting with Putin.
Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly called the Ukrainian terms unacceptable. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said late last month that the Ukrainian leadership was dominated by “brazen Russophobes” and was incapable of negotiating.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-15 Minsk peace accords. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, together with two other former Ukrainian territories – Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – joined Russia after referendums in September. Crimea had done the same shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev.