Published: Fri, December 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump Took Ukraine Meddling Cue From Putin

Trump Took Ukraine Meddling Cue From Putin

Though Putin's reputation rankings have weakened because the peak of the increase from the 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, he nonetheless retains the help of a majority of Russians.

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"We spent a lot of time. trying to refute this one in the first year of the administration", Fiona Hill, a former senior director for Europe and Russian Federation on the National Security Council, told impeachment investigators in October.

"They will be unlikely to remove a representative of their own party from office on what seems to me absolutely far-fetched reasons", Putin said Thursday, the AP reported.

- Putin said the impeachment of Donald Trump was based on "made-up" grounds and he did not believe that the U.S. president was in any way finished.

But with no successor in sight at this stage, Tatiana Stanovaya, head of the R.Politik analysis firm, said it was not clear if Putin's comments represented an "incentive to start a discussion or a decision that will be realised".

USA intelligence has repeatedly concluded that Russian Federation, not Ukraine, was the force behind presidential election interference, and yet Trump and the GOP have attempted to deflect blame toward Ukraine.

- He said "nobody knows" the true causes of climate change, indicating that global warming could be caused by astronomical factors like a tilt in the Earth's axis rather than man-made factors.

Putin voiced hope for further moves to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine following his talks in Paris on December 9 with the leaders of Ukraine, France and Germany.

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When asked whether there were other ways to achieve peace in eastern Ukraine besides the Minsk Agreements, the Russian was categorical.

The Minsk deal envisaged that Ukraine can regain control over the border with Russian Federation in the separatist-held regions only after they are granted broad self-rule and hold local elections.

"As soon as the party started cracking, started crumbling, the country followed by starting to crumble", said Putin, who has called the 1991 breakup of the USSR the biggest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.

Putin accused Lenin of proposing the structure of confederation instead of federation for the Soviet Union, which subsequently allowed ethnic groups "to get the right to secede from the USSR".

At the same time, Putin rejected the push for taking Lenin's embalmed body out of the Red Square tomb and burying it, saying that it would offend older people who still see the Soviet founder as a powerful symbol.

Putin said that China has come to challenge the the global economic powerhouse, and he hailed increasingly close ties between Moscow and Beijing.

He noted that the Soviet demise spawned expectations of a "unipolar world" in which the USA dictates terms to others, adding that such "illusions" quickly collapsed.

Were this to be implemented, Putin could not when his current term runs out in 2024 repeat the trick of 2008 where he temporarily handed the Kremlin to his ally Dmitry Medvedev to get round the two mandate rule.

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