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Cameron's failed visit to Trump on Ukraine aid

10 April, 2024 Wednesday
21:45

The British media emphasize that Foreign Secretary David Cameron apparently failed to convince former US President Donald Trump not to block aid to Ukraine, which is now to be discussed again in the US Congress

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David Cameron became the first high-ranking representative of the British government to visit Trump in recent years. And during a private dinner at Mar-a-Lago, he tried to explain to the former US president the consequences of blocking aid to Ukraine and the need to confront Russia in the fight to restore international law and the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state.

However, according to observers, the former US president and his supporters were not much impressed by the arguments of the British foreign secretary and former prime minister. Cameron did not even meet with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, who is responsible for whether the bill on military aid to Ukraine will be put to a vote at all.

I would like to remind you that the bill is in the House of Representatives, it has been ealier approved by the US Senate, both Democrats and Republicans. This bill provides for the allocation of the necessary assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $60 billion, which would help the Ukrainian Armed Forces to more effectively resist the intentions of the Russian troops to go on the offensive and seize new Ukrainian regions during the multi-year war of attrition declared by Russian leader Putin.

However, Mike Johnson has already explained that he is not even going to consider this important bill, and instead will be ready to propose his own version of the bill to help Ukraine. This version includes a loan to Ukraine. Incidentally, Donald Trump himself has spoken about this possibility, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine would be happy to accept such an opportunity, as it needs urgent help now.

However, it is not clear if the new bill will actually be considered in the House of Representatives in the near future. Many observers believe that Mike Johnson is simply stalling for time. Because even the preparation of the relevant bill, which will also contain package proposals that must be approved by the US administration, proposals that have nothing to do with helping Ukraine or even ensuring security on the US-Mexico border, the whole proposal will not find appropriate support in Congress.

First, it takes time to prepare such a bill. Second, it needs to find bipartisan support, because Republicans do not have a clear majority to vote for the speaker's proposal, as many of them are strongly opposed to any form of support for Ukraine. And Democrats, in turn, may not support the bill, which would include changes that would significantly affect Joseph Biden's election campaign.

All of this is well understood by the headquarters of his main rival, Donald Trump, which may suggest that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is dependent on the former American president in his political career, propose initiatives that, on the one hand, will demonstrate the Republicans' readiness to help Ukraine, and on the other hand, will make it impossible to make decisions on such assistance until after the presidential election in the United States, which Trump hopes to win.

Read also US assistance to Ukraine. Narrow window of opportunity

As you know, the former American president has repeatedly said that he is able to resolve the situation with the Russian-Ukrainian war. However, Trump has never realistically explained how he intends to act. The latest information about his plan, which allegedly involves a territorial exchange to end the war, i.e. Ukraine's giving up its territories occupied by Russia, was denied by Trump's own headquarters.

Thus, we can only hope for some political optimism in Donald Trump, who may not realize Putin's true plans and intentions, just as Trump once did not realize the true plans and intentions of another dictator, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom he met but failed to stop North Korea's nuclear program. Now the US may face a similarly difficult situation with Russia.

David Cameron's visit to Donald Trump was intended to persuade him to change his position, but the trick is that Trump is well aware of the consequences of his actions. I would not call either Trump himself or his supporters in American politics people who are not aware of such consequences. Obviously, they can live in the world of their own political ideas, a world that is reflected in Donald Trump's completely irrational sympathies for Vladimir Putin and other totalitarian and authoritarian rulers. And the former American president's belief that he can find a common language with these people, despite any objective political logic.

From this point of view, the rational arguments of Lord Cameron, who can certainly be considered one of the most experienced British politicians, could not meet with any realistic understanding from Donald Trump, if only because Trump does not need additional arguments when it comes to helping Ukraine and his perception of his own relationship with Putin and the strength of his own political arguments.

From this point of view, of course, we can assume that Trump will continue to do everything possible to delay US assistance to Ukraine. Here, much will depend solely on whether Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson will be able to take a more or less independent position and risk conflict with Trump himself and with Trumpists in the Republican faction, who are already threatening the Speaker with his resignation if he puts to a vote in the House of Representatives any bill that provides military assistance to Ukraine.

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About the author. Vitaly Portnikov, journalist, winner of the Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine.

The editors don't always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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