Trump could make deal with Putin – NATO state’s president
Czech President Petr Pavel has urged European NATO members to prepare for former US President Donald Trump’s possible return to the White House, and subsequent changes to Washington's strategy for the continent.
If the Republican frontrunner wins the November election, it could mean the conclusion of an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he warned in an interview with radio station Radiozurnal.
“This is nothing about disrupting the transatlantic bond, challenging the United States as an ally. But we should realistically admit that Donald Trump looks at a number of things differently,” Pavel pointed out. If Trump is legitimately elected, it is necessary to respect the decision of American voters, “but we should be prepared for that, because there will certainly be some consequences,” he cautioned.
Trump, who like current US President Joe Biden is seeking another White House term in this year’s election, has claimed that the Ukrainian conflict would not have broken out if he had remained in power. He has repeatedly insisted that he has a good relationship with both the Russian and Ukrainian leaders, and is well-positioned to negotiate an end to the conflict, although he has not elaborated on what such a peace settlement would look like. “If I’m president, I will have that war settled in one day, 24 hours,” he told CNN last year.
Reacting to the statement, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said he was worried about the prospect of Trump returning to the White House, branding the claim that he could stop the conflict so easily as “very dangerous.”
In January, Donald Trump junior, who is an important player in his father’s election campaign, said the fighting between Russia and Ukraine has to end in talks, and in order to persuade Zelensky’s government to negotiate, Washington must stop sending money to Kiev. The announcement came as the Biden administration’s attempts to push through a $106 billion national security package, which includes $60 billion for Kiev, continue to face staunch resistance from Republican lawmakers, who have demanded stricter controls on the southern US border in exchange for approving the bill.
Putin has many times stressed that Moscow has never rejected peace talks with Ukraine, whereas Kiev has publicly withdrawn from the negotiation process. In October 2022, Zelensky signed a decree which left the door open to future talks with the Kremlin, but also states that negotiations with the current Russian leader are “impossible.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in December that it doesn't matter who wins the 2024 US presidential election because the political establishment in Washington “sees Russia as an enemy and an existential threat” regardless of party affiliation.