Annexing Crimea was egregious. Why does Trump disagree?
Inside the U.S. government there is virtual unanimity on the question of Crimea, the Ukrainian region invaded and abruptly annexed by Russia in 2014: It was an egregious act of aggression and, as the first forcible transnational seizure of territory in Europe since World War II, should never be accepted by the United States.
There’s just one exception to this consensus: President Donald Trump.
Since his presidential campaign, Trump has repeatedly said – most recently, to the other leaders of the Group of Seven democracies – that Crimea ought to be part of Russia because a majority of its people are Russian-speaking and, as he put it in 2016, “would rather be with Russia.” When Trump was asked about reports he might acknowledge Russian sovereignty over Crimea in his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president teasingly told reporters, “We’re going to have to see.”