Espreso. Global

Trump may promise Putin retention of Ukraine's occupied territories, NATO's non-expansion

3 July, 2024 Wednesday
11:39

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has a NATO plan that includes a "two-tier system," a pledge not to expand eastward, and talks with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on Ukrainian territories

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Politico reports this, citing former officials and experts, some of whom preferred to stay anonymous.

If he wins the presidency, Trump is considering an agreement with Putin on how much of Ukraine's occupied territories Russia can retain.

As part of his Ukraine plan, Trump may also agree to stop NATO's eastward expansion, blocking Ukraine and Georgia from joining the Alliance.

"Such a plan would scuttle NATO’s vague promise of future membership to Ukraine — a policy that Biden has continued, albeit without committing to a timeline," Politico notes.

Regarding NATO, Trump proposes a "two-tier system." Member states not spending 2% of GDP on defense "wouldn’t enjoy the defense largess and security guarantee of the United States."

"This could be seen to be in defiance of Article 5 of the treaty, which obliges every member to take “such action it deems necessary” to assist whoever is attacked. But members of the Trump foreign-policy brain trust noted that the language in Article 5 is flexible and does not require any member to respond with military force," the article says.

At the same time, according to the publication's interlocutors, the United States will keep a "nuclear umbrella" over NATO if Trump wins the presidency again. They will also keep aviation, bases, and naval forces in Germany, England, and Turkey. It is noted that the main part of the infantry, armored vehicles, logistics, and artillery should pass from the hands of the USA to the EU.

According to Dan Caldwell, who recently served as a senior adviser, this is "significantly and substantially downsizing America’s security role — stepping back instead of being the primary provider of combat power in Europe, somebody who provides support only in times of crisis."

Politico's sources added that in exchange for continued U.S. involvement, “Trump would not only expect that European countries drastically increase their spending on NATO but also undertake what one defense expert familiar with the thinking inside Trump’s national-security advisory circle, Dan Caldwell describes as a “radical reorientation” of NATO.”

What Trump says about Ukraine

On February 21, former President Trump said he would end Russia's war against Ukraine within a day if he were to return to office. In March, he claimed his return to the White House would stop Russia's war and prevent World War III.

On May 11, Trump called Putin's attack on Ukraine a mistake but refused to label him a war criminal, saying it could hinder negotiations with Russia.

He advocated for reducing weapons supplies to Ukraine. At the same time, he asserted that he could end the Russia-Ukraine war if he becomes president again in 2024. However, National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby stated that Trump's comments on supporting Ukraine did not influence U.S. or partner countries' policies.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a key Republican rival to Trump, said he would not want American troops involved in the Russia-Ukraine war if he won.

On June 30, Trump suggested Ukraine should cede some of its occupied territories to Russia to end the war. Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of Ukraine’s President's Office, responded that Ukraine would not give up its territories, as it's a matter of self-respect.

Trump also claimed he could force Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to sign a peace deal with Putin within 24 hours of returning to the White House.

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