According to a Politico article published Tuesday, members of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s inner circle say their candidate would likely favor bargaining away Ukrainian land to Russia in exchange for Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s promise to stop its’ invasion.

According to two Trump-aligned national security experts, Trump would also consider barring entry for Ukraine and Georgia into the NATO defensive alliance.

He’s also called for a much-reduced US role in NATO generally.

“For many of his critics, it’s a question of when, not whether, he’d ditch the 75-year-old alliance if he’s reelected president in November,” the article says.

In contrast, US President Joe Biden favors helping Ukraine fight against the Kremlin, is in favor of allowing it to eventually join NATO – although not on a specific timeline – and favors continued US support of the defensive alliance.

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According to the article from Politico, Trump has “little love for Ukraine,” telling House Speaker Mike Johnson in June that Ukraine is “never going to be there for us.”

In April, The Washington Post reported that Trump’s tentative plan involves pressuring Ukraine to cede the Crimea and Donbas regions to Russia.

A national security expert familiar with Trump’s thinking, speaking to Politico on condition of anonymity, echoed the Post’s report, saying Trump is open to a deal barring new NATO members and appeasing the Kremlin with at least some of the land it’s so far taken.

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Speaking at National Association of Governors, the Ukrainian president asked leaders of the 50 states in the US to send their representatives to “personally assess the consequences of Russian terror”

“That would be on the table. But that doesn’t mean surrendering any other possibility, including supplying large amounts of weapons to Ukraine,” the advisor said.

Trump hasn’t publicly commented on his Ukraine plans, only promising to end the war soon after taking office.

On June 14, Putin said Russia would end its invasion of Ukraine if Kyiv renounces plans to join the NATO defensive alliance and cedes the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions – which Russia has not been able to take yet through its military, which over the past months has been sustaining weekly losses in the thousands of soldiers in exchange for marginal territorial gains.  

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Trump did reject Putin’s terms, saying: “They’re not acceptable. But look, this is a war that should never have started.”

During his visit to Washington, Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, commented that Ukraine is not prepared to compromise with Russia or cede any territory to end the conflict.

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