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This Is Genius, I Know Putin Very Well And He Would Have Never Done…: Trump On Russia’s Ukraine Move

Former US President Donald Trump praised President Vladmir Putin's "genius" move for recognising the independence of the two regions in Ukraine and sending Russian troops, in what it called "peacekeepers", across the border.

Updated: February 23, 2022 11:20 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

Russia, Donald Trump, russia ukraine border crisis, russia ukraine conflict, putin, vladimir putin, US, united states, joe biden, russia ukraine latest news, russia ukraine crisis, ukraine
Donald Trump

New Delhi: Former US President Donald Trump, in a podcast, praised President Vladmir Putin’s “genius” move for recognising the independence of the two regions in Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk – and sending Russian troops, in what it called “peacekeepers”, across the border.

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Putin on Tuesday signed decrees recognising the independence of two self-proclaimed regions in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass as “the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR)” and “the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR)”. At a ceremony held in the Kremlin, Putin also inked the treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between Russia and the LPR and the DPR respectively with the heads of the two “republics,” a Kremlin statement said.

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Responding to this, Donald Trump hailed the move while calling Putin “very savvy” and boasting of his ties with the Russian president. “I said, ‘This is genius,'” Trump said on a right-wing podcast. “Putin declared a big portion of … Ukraine … as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. … I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s strongest peace force. … We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep the peace all right. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy … I know him very well. Very, very well,” Trump said in the podcast, according to a report by Rolling Stone.

“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” Trump said.

Trump also slammed US President Joe Biden and said this would not have happened during his administration. “I know Vladimir Putin very well, and he would have never done during the Trump administration what he is doing now, no way,” Trump was quoted as saying in the report.

Meanwhile, world leaders hit back with sanctions against Russia to Vladimir Putin’s order sending troops to separatist regions of Ukraine in hopes of averting a full-blown war in Europe.

US President Joe Biden announced financial sanctions on banks and oligarchs as punishment for what he called “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.” He warned of more sanctions if Putin proceeds further.

The European Union announced sanctions taking aim at the 351 Duma legislators who voted in favor of recognizing separatist regions in Ukraine, as well as 27 other Russian officials and institutions from the defense and banking world. They also sought to limit Moscow’s access to EU capital and financial markets.

Outside the EU, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson named five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals whom the UK hit with sanctions on Tuesday.

And if Putin pushes further into Ukraine, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg insisted, “there will be even stronger sanctions, even a higher price to pay.”

The US and other Western nations have pressed daily for diplomatic efforts to head off a dangerous military confrontation. But the failure of that effort was underscored Tuesday as Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled plans for a Thursday meeting in Geneva with his Russian counterpart, saying Russia’s actions showed there was no point.

Western powers have long made clear the fate of Ukraine must not lead to a direct military confrontation with Russia and the potential of a world war, so sanctions were the limited option.

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