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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Trump Considers Halting US Military Aid to Ukraine, Urges Peace Talks with Moscow

Two key advisers to Donald Trump have proposed a plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine if he wins the presidential election. This plan involves telling Ukraine that it will receive more U.S. weapons only if it enters peace talks, while simultaneously warning Moscow that refusing to negotiate would lead to increased U.S. support for Ukraine. Retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, one of Trump’s national security advisers, shared this strategy in an interview.

The plan, crafted by Kellogg and Fred Fleitz—both former chiefs of staff in Trump’s National Security Council during his 2017-2021 presidency—calls for a ceasefire based on current battle lines during peace talks. Trump responded positively to the proposal, although not committing to every detail, according to Fleitz. Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung emphasized that only statements from Trump or authorized campaign members should be considered official.

The proposal, outlined in a research paper by the “America First Policy Institute,” a Trump-aligned think tank, represents the most detailed plan from Trump’s associates. Trump has claimed he could swiftly resolve the war if elected, although he has not provided specific details. The plan could significantly alter the U.S. stance on the war, potentially facing resistance from European allies and within Trump’s Republican Party.

Also Read: Moscow’s Alliance with Pyongyang Heightens Ukraine Conflict with the West

Neither the Kremlin nor Ukraine’s foreign ministry responded to requests for comment on the plan. The core elements of the plan include urging quick negotiations if Trump wins the election. Kellogg stated that the U.S. would press Ukraine to negotiate by threatening to withdraw support, while telling Russian President Vladimir Putin that refusal to negotiate would lead to increased U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

The research paper suggests that NATO membership for Ukraine would be postponed to entice Moscow to the negotiating table. The war, which began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, has resulted in substantial casualties on both sides.

Fleitz indicated that their plan does not require Ukraine to formally cede territory to Russia, though he acknowledged that Ukraine might not regain control of all its territory soon. The advisers expressed concern that the ongoing war could devastate a generation of young men, emphasizing the need for additional security guarantees for Ukraine and substantial arming of Ukrainian forces.

Trump spokesperson Cheung reiterated Trump’s commitment to ending the war quickly if reelected. The Biden campaign countered, stating that Trump would not stand up to Putin or defend democracy.

There is skepticism among some Republicans about continuing to fund Ukraine, given that the U.S. has already spent over $70 billion on military aid. Russian President Putin has suggested that the war could end if Ukraine abandons its NATO ambitions and cedes certain territories. Meanwhile, French and British ambassadors at the UN have maintained that peace requires Russia’s withdrawal from Ukrainian territory, a stance shared by Kyiv.

Analysts have raised concerns that the Kellogg and Fleitz plan might favor Russia by potentially leading Ukraine to concede occupied territories. Trump has expressed reluctance to commit U.S. troops to Ukraine and skepticism about Ukraine joining NATO, suggesting he would reduce aid to Ukraine if elected. In contrast, Biden has consistently supported increased aid for Ukraine and its eventual NATO membership, as highlighted by a recent bilateral security agreement signed with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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