July 28, 2016
Trump May Lift Sanctions and Bless Russia’s Seizure of Crimea
By Aaron Blake, Washington Post
It's not just the fact that he publicly called for Russia to hack into and obtain the emails Hillary Clinton deleted from her private email server. No, Trump actually said something else at his bizarre, fact-challenged news conference Wednesday that could bring a smile to Russian President Vladimir Putin's face.
Here's the exchange, via a transcript:
QUESTION: I would like to know if you became president, would you recognize (inaudible) Crimea as Russian territory? And also if the U.S. would lift sanctions that are (inaudible)?
TRUMP: We'll be looking at that. Yeah, we'll be looking....
Back in March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine.
As The Post reported back then, it was "the first time that one European nation has seized territory from another since the end of World War II." As such, U.S. and European allies roundly rejected the annexation. Since then, Vice President Biden has declared it an "illegal" occupation....
So the official position of the U.S. government is that the Russian annexation of Crimea is illegal and dangerous. Trump, though, left open the possibility Wednesday of simply recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and even perhaps lifting related sanctions.