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14 May, 2024 17:55

UK’s Cameron pitched Ukraine deal to Trump – media

The diplomat reportedly argued that aiding Kiev would help set the stage for negotiating peace with Russia in January
UK’s Cameron pitched Ukraine deal to Trump – media

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron reportedly urged Donald Trump to support a Ukraine aid bill, telling him it would buy time to negotiate a peace agreement with Russia if the former US commander-in-chief wins back the presidency in November.

Cameron made his pitch to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee when he visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last month, according to media reports. He framed the long-stalled Ukraine funding bill, then pending in Congress, as a way to help Kiev stabilize the front lines long enough for Trump to secure a deal with Russia if he returns to the White House in January, the UK’s Sunday Times reported, citing an unidentified “senior source.”

“What are the best conditions in which you as president can make a deal in January?” the newspaper quoted Cameron as asking Trump. “It’s both sides holding their lines and paying a price for that.”

The proposal was predicated on Trump defeating incumbent President Joe Biden in the upcoming US election. It also conflicted with the British government’s official position that any decisions about peace talks are Ukraine’s to make. Cameron has argued publicly against Trump’s plan to negotiate a compromise with Moscow and has insisted that “appeasing” Russian President Vladimir Putin would be “dangerous.”

Media reports on Cameron’s appeal to the ex-US president prompted renewed questions about London’s Ukraine policy. “I don’t recognize those reports,” a spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters on Monday. “Our position has not changed. Putin must fail.” The spokesperson added that Britain will support Ukraine “for as long as necessary.”

Sunak, who was confronted about the reports after giving a speech on Monday, also pushed back. “Investment in Ukraine’s security is investment in our security,” he said. “Our NATO allies are already worried about the prospect of if Putin succeeds, that they’ll be next – with all the consequences that would bring.”

Biden has insisted that Washington will let Ukraine decide how the conflict ends: either by driving Russian forces out of the former Soviet republic or negotiating a favorable peace agreement. However, US political support for continuing to provide weapons and money to Kiev has waned in recent months amid battlefield setbacks and Republican opposition.

US lawmakers approved $61 billion in additional Ukraine funding last month, about two weeks after Cameron met with Trump. The ex-president has repeatedly claimed that he will end the Russia-Ukraine crisis within 24 hours by forcing both sides to the bargaining table. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said the aid bill only passed after Trump stopped speaking out against it.

Trump is leading Biden by wide margins in several of the swing states that will likely decide the presidential election, according to a New York Times poll released on Monday.

 

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