President Donald Trump’s former business associates are privately lobbying the White House to accept a peace plan for Ukraine, The New York Times reports.
The peace plan appears to center on a Ukrainian radical politician’s proposal for Russia to withdraw all troops from eastern Ukraine, in exchange for a referendum on whether Crimea can be leased to Russia for a period of 50 or 100 years. The plan is reportedly supported by Russian authorities.
The plan was pitched to Michael Cohen, lawyer for the Trump Organization, by Ukrainian radical politician Andrii Artemenko in a New York City meeting brokered by Russian-American businessman Felix Sater. Cohen then reportedly hand delivered the plan in a sealed envelope to former national security advisor Mike Flynn, shortly before Flynn resigned in disgrace. Cohen denied these allegations to the Washington Post saying these reports were “fake news,” but acknowledged that the meeting took place.
Sater previously worked with Trump in the mid-2000s on a variety of real estate deals in New York City. Sater is also a convicted stock manipulator with tenuous ties to the Russian mafia. Sater told The New York Times he brokered the meeting with Cohen because “I want to stop a war, number one.” He continued, “Number two, I absolutely believe that the U.S. and Russia need to be allies, not enemies. If I could achieve both in one stroke, it would be a home run.”
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