Trump aides discuss Crimea, Russian sanctions with Ukraine MP

Washington, Feb 20 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s close aides met privately with a member of the Ukrainian Parliament to discuss a peace plan for that country, media reports said on Monday.

Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen and former business associate Felix Sater met Ukranian politician Andrii V. Artemenko to discuss the policy that could give Russia long-term control over the Crimean peninsula it seized in 2014 and lead to the lifting of sanctions against Moscow, Washington Post said.

Cohen is a Trump Organisation lawyer since 2007, and Sater is a former business partner who worked on real estate projects with Trump’s company.

A week before Michael T. Flynn resigned as National Security Adviser, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for Trump to lift sanctions against Russia, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

“At a time when Trump’s ties to Russia, and the people connected to him, are under heightened scrutiny with investigations by American intelligence agencies, the FBI and Congress, some of his associates remain willing and eager to wade into Russia-related efforts behind the scenes,” the media report said.

Acknowledging that the meeting took place, Cohen told the Post: “I acknowledge that the brief meeting took place, but emphatically deny discussing this topic or delivering any documents to the White House and/or General Flynn.”