Donald Trump fails to rule out accepting Russian claim on Crimea

Jun 30, 2018, 23:59 IST | AFP

Trump's refusal to reaffirm the long-standing US opposition to Russia's intervention in Ukraine will dismay European allies ahead of next month's NATO summit

Donald Trump fails to rule out accepting Russian claim on Crimea
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump refused to rule out accepting Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region when he meets his Kremlin counterpart Vladimir Putin next month.

Asked by reporters yesterday whether he was considering -- as has been reported -- dropping Washington's opposition to the 2014 land grab, Trump said: "We're going to have to see." Trump's refusal to reaffirm the long-standing US opposition to Russia's intervention in Ukraine will dismay European allies ahead of next month's NATO summit.

Just days after Western leaders meet in Brussels on July 11, Trump is due to fly to Helsinki for his first one-on-one summit on July 16 with Putin.

Accepting that Crimea is never to return to Ukrainian control would be a major concession to Russia, which is languishing under tough international trade sanctions over its actions.

In early 2014, with areas of Ukraine falling into chaos in the wake of a Kiev street revolt that ousted a pro-Russian president, unbadged Russian troops seized Crimea.

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