President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine in Kiev on Wednesday. Two days later in Munich, he warned the West against “appeasement” of Russia. Credit Gleb Garanich/Reuters
New York Times: A Back-Channel Plan for Ukraine and Russia, Courtesy of Trump Associates
A week before Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security adviser, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.
Mr. Flynn is gone, having been caught lying about his own discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador. But the proposal, a peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, remains, along with those pushing it: Michael D. Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer, who delivered the document; Felix H. Sater, a business associate who helped Mr. Trump scout deals in Russia; and a Ukrainian lawmaker trying to rise in a political opposition movement shaped in part by Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
At a time when Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia, and the people connected to him, are under heightened scrutiny — with investigations by American intelligence agencies, the F.B.I. and Congress — some of his associates remain willing and eager to wade into Russia-related efforts behind the scenes.
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WNU Editor: The Kremlin spokesman has called these reports absurd .... Kremlin Says Ukraine Peace Plan Mooted by Lawmaker 'Absurd' (Reuters). More Kremlin denials here .... Kremlin calls Ukrainian MP’s proposal for Russia to take Crimea on lease 'absurd' (TASS). As to what is my take .... for peace to be restored in Ukraine .... the talks have to be between Kiev and the Russian-Ukrainian rebels, and the rebels in the eastern provinces have made it very clear that in exchange for peace they want a lot of autonomy within a federal Ukraine system .... a position that the Ukrainian government has consistently refused to discuss. This .... in a nut shell .... is why there is no peace in Ukraine. As for Crimea .... that issue can only be approached once peace has been restored .... but Russia has no interest to cede that territory ..... and I would be willing to bet that 90% of Crimeans would not be interested either. As for reports of this U.S. back-channel .... I am very sceptical .... doubly so since this secret backed channel got published in the New York Times. So why the NYT story .... the appearance of the name of Felix Sater said it all to me. He has been rumoured to be the Russian money man who helped Donald Trump post-bankruptcy to finance his projects .... specifically the Trump SoHo building project in Lower Manhattan. There has been (and still is) a lot of Russian money in New York real estate ..... so I would not be surprised if Donald Trump had a taste of it. But for those who claim that this is the smoking gun that ties Donald Trump to Putin .... and he has been compromised because of it .... IMHO they are really stretching it.
More News On A U.S. Back-Channel Plan For Ukraine and Russia
Amid Russia scrutiny, Trump associates received informal Ukraine policy proposal -- Washington Post
Report: Trump's lawyer hand-delivered Michael Flynn a secret plan to lift sanctions on Russia -- Business Insider
Trump's lawyer denies delivering plan to lift Russian sanctions to Michael Flynn -- Philly.com/Washington Post
Trump’s business associates had a plan to offer Crimea to Russia: report -- Salon
A Big Shoe Just Dropped -- TPM