Former US President Donald Trump said Wagner Military Group’s attempted mutiny It “somewhat” weakened Russian President Vladimir Putin, and stated that it was time for the United States to try to broker a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine.
“I want the death to stop because of this ridiculous war,” Trump told Reuters in a phone call on Thursday.
Wagner Commander (AFP)
In extensive foreign policy comments, Trump, who leads opinion polls for the winner of the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, said China should be given 48 hours to shut down what sources say is a Chinese spy base on the island of Cuba, 145 km off the coast of the United States.
With regard to Ukraine, Trump did not rule out the possibility that Kiev would be forced to cede some of its territory to Russia in exchange for stopping the war that began 16 months ago when Russian forces invaded Ukraine. He stated that everything would be “discussable” if he won the presidential elections, noting that the Ukrainians had fought a fierce battle to defend their land.
He said, “I think they will be entitled to keep much of what they have achieved, and I suspect that Russia will agree to that. We need the right mediator or negotiator (but) we don’t have it at the moment.”
US President Joe Biden and his allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) want Russia to withdraw from the lands it occupied in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine launched a counterattack with little success in driving out the Russian forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last year proposed a 10-point peace plan that calls for Russia to withdraw all its forces.
Trump commented: “I think the biggest thing for the United States to do now is make peace… bring Russia and Ukraine together and make peace. That can be done. It’s time for that… for the two sides to sit down together and force peace.”
He stressed that Putin was affected by the rebellion of the Wagner military group at the weekend.
“You could say he (Putin) is still there, he’s still strong, but I see he’s certainly become somewhat weaker, at least in a lot of people’s minds.”
He warned that if Putin is no longer in power, “you don’t know who the alternative will be. Someone better may come, but it may also be much worse.”
Trump has expressed strong opposition to the Chinese spy base in Cuba. He said that if Beijing rejected his request to close the base within 48 hours, his administration, if he won the presidency, would impose new duties on Chinese goods.
He continued his threat: “I will give them 48 hours to get out. If they don’t get out, I will charge 100 percent on everything they sell to the United States and they will be out in two days. They will be out in one hour.”
Trump did not comment on whether the United States would support Taiwan militarily if China invaded the self-ruled island, which Beijing claims.
He explained, “I’m not talking about it because it would hurt my negotiating position. All I can say is that over four years there was no threat. It wouldn’t have happened if I were president.”
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