Published: Wed, February 22, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

Trump Associates Push Murky 'Peace Plan' With Russia To Lift Sanctions

Trump Associates Push Murky 'Peace Plan' With Russia To Lift Sanctions

America's commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is "unwavering", Pence said Saturday, reassuring allies about the direction the Trump administration might take but leaving open questions about where Washington saw its relationship with the European Union and other worldwide organizations.

In a statement to the Post, Sater-like Cohen-dismissed speculation that the meeting was about anything more than resolving the conflict between Russian Federation and Ukraine. According to information first revealed by the New York Times, Trump's personal lawyer (Michael Cohen), a former business associate (Felix Sater), and a member of the Ukrainian parliament (Andrii Artemenko) met to discuss a possible peace plan for Russian Federation that could give Moscow control over the territory it seized in 2014.

The resignation of Flynn on February 13 stalled the plan, but Artemenko hopes that Flynn's replacement will deliver the message to President Trump.

The plan - which the Times said was "pushed" by Cohen, businessman Felix Sater, and Ukrainian lawmaker Andreii Artemenko - involved lifting sanctions on Russian Federation in return for Moscow withdrawing its support for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Read the full New York Times' full article here.

President Donald Trump's repeated statements on improving relations with Russian Federation had led to speculation that Washington would soften its stance on Russia's interference in Ukraine. Artemenko also claims that top Putin aides have encouraged his plans, but the Ukrainian government is already disavowing Artemenko's efforts, and they say that he was not authorized to present any such plan to any foreign government.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's personal lawyer, reportedly left a sealed envelope containing details of the plan in the office of Michael Flynn, Mr Trump's short-serving national security advisor, earlier this month.

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Indeed, far, far more important, Cohen-who is very close to Trump and known for dealing with delicate matters-is in contact with Sater and hand delivering political and policy plans from him to the President.

Cohen is under investigation by the FBI as part of the query into Russian influence in Trump's election; Sater is Mafia-linked.

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Poroshenko has been locked in a war with pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine since he took power in 2014. He said he attended the meeting as a courtesy to Sater, a former business colleague.

Cohen is a long-time lawyer for both Trump and his business organization.

Sater previously worked with Trump in the mid-2000's on a variety of real estate deals in New York City. In sworn testimony in 2013 in litigation related to a failed project with which Sater had been involved, Trump said he would not recognize Sater if they were in the same room. "I thought if this could improve conditions in three countries, good, so be it".

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