NewsTrump blames NATO talks for provoking russia into Ukraine war

Trump blames NATO talks for provoking russia into Ukraine war

Trump shocks again. "The war in Ukraine started because of NATO"
Trump shocks again. "The war in Ukraine started because of NATO"
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Getty Images

5:04 PM EDT, June 21, 2024

Former President of the United States and Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, stated that in his opinion, the war erupted because Ukraine ignored Russia's warnings about the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO.

Trump was a guest on Thursday's podcast "All In" hosted by financier and Elon Musk's associate David Sacks, who is known for his pro-Russian views. The Republican candidate stated that Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Alliance would be "madness."

During the conversation, Trump was asked if he would agree to exclude the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO as part of the negotiations to end the war in that country. In response, the former president suggested that the issue of Ukraine's potential accession to NATO might have provoked Russia to take aggressive actions against Ukraine.

"Russia does not want NATO and its forces at its border"

- For 20 years, I've heard that NATO is a real problem for Russia. I've heard it for a long time, and I think that is truly the reason why this war started - Trump said. He accused the current U.S. President, Joe Biden, of causing the conflict with his "provocative" statements during the escalating tensions before the Russian invasion.

- If you look at Biden’s rhetoric, he said things that, in my opinion, he shouldn't have said. The things he said, and continues to say, he said things that are crazy - Trump said. He added that initially, he thought Putin was massing his troops at the Ukrainian border for negotiation purposes. - But then suddenly he attacked. I said then: What is happening here? - he continued.

Sacks replied - without citing any source - that during talks before the Russian invasion, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that Ukraine had a green light to join the Alliance and that the U.S. could deploy its nuclear weapons on its territory.

It's unclear where Sacks got this information. In the months leading up to the Russian assault, the U.S. administration, including Biden and Blinken, expressed a willingness to negotiate nuclear arms control. They also didn't talk about Ukraine joining NATO but rather about maintaining the Alliance's "open-door policy." A week before the invasion, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Ukraine's membership "is not on the agenda," and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed it was a "distant dream."

Responding to Sacks's comments, Trump said that if he were leading Russia, he wouldn't be "too happy" hearing these alleged statements by Blinken. He added that "it was always understood, even before (Putin's rule), that Russia does not want NATO and its forces at its border."

- It was always known that they would not agree to this, and you cannot go against their will. And that doesn’t mean they are right when they say it, but it was very provocative, and now it's even more provocative. And they say - I hear it often - about Ukraine joining NATO, and now I also hear that France wants to go there (to Ukraine - ed.) and fight. Well, good luck - the Republican candidate concluded.

The Kremlin uses Trump's remarks

In other parts of the interview regarding foreign policy, Trump assessed that war with China is unlikely, while simultaneously accusing Biden of being a "Manchurian Candidate" (a reference to the 1960s movie about a presidential candidate controlled by communist China). He also claimed that - similar to the war in Ukraine - the Gaza Strip war would never have happened if he were president.

Fragments of Trump's conversation about Ukraine were posted, among others, by the Kremlin agency Sputnik. Biden's campaign team also used them to attack Trump.

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