Steve's Blog

What Trump Should Tell Putin When They Meet This Week

In a couple days, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will both be in Hamburg, Germany, for the G-20 Summit. It’s been confirmed that the two leaders will meet there, for the first time since Trump became President.

What should they talk about? Well a lot of liberals (progressives, Democrats, the mainstream press, whatever you want to call them), believe that Trump and Putin, or at least their surrogates, have been working together for some time, first to steal the election last November, and then to cover the whole thing up. So whatever Trump and Putin actually talk about behind closed doors, it will be assumed by many that they were up to no good.

In my opinion, at the top of Trump’s list should be – Crimea. Yes, Crimea. Much of the rest of the world has all but forgotten about Russia’s hostile invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea. It’s been more than three years now. The feeble reaction by The West in general, and by the Obama Administration in particular, was embarrassing. And dangerous, because it invites future aggression by Russia, or by other bad actors across the globe.

Yes, some sanctions were imposed on Russia, but they weren’t that tough, and Russia figures they came out ahead in the deal. Thus Putin has continued pushing the envelope in eastern Ukraine, hoping through aggressive military action to annex even more territory from Ukraine to Russia. The Obama Administration refused to assist the Ukrainians by arming them, and unfortunately the Trump Administration, at least thus far, hasn’t agreed to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons either.

My view is that Putin will continue to push until he meets serious resistance. And that is where I believe Donald Trump should come in. Trump should tell Putin, in no uncertain terms, that he must get out of Crimea, and cease hostilities in the rest of Ukraine. Further, Putin should be told to back off the growing pressure he has been exerting on other eastern European nations, like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. In the Middle East, Putin should be told that Russian targeting of anti-Assad forces, rather than of ISIS, is not only unwelcome, but will no longer be tolerated. And the buzzing of U.S. planes and ships by Russian planes, must cease immediately, or else.

Trump should inform Putin that he will be working closely with Congress first, and then with American allies, to dramatically tighten sanctions against Russia until all of the above are accomplished. The only thing Putin understands, and yields to, is power. And the U.S. has a lot more of it than Putin does – we just haven’t been using it.

Anyway, that’s what I would do. Unless of course the crazy libs are right, and Trump and Putin have been in cahoots all along. In that case, we’re in big trouble.

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