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Trump likely ‘sincere’ on Ukraine pledge – Putin

Donald Trump’s claims that he wants to end the Ukraine conflict deserve Moscow’s attention, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Thursday.

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The former US president has accused the incumbent Joe Biden, his presumed Democratic rival in the November election, of having allowed hostilities between Russia and Ukraine to flare up in 2022. Trump has claimed on numerous occasions that this would not have happened if he were in office, and that, if elected again, he could end the fighting in 24 hours.

”The remarks that Trump made in his capacity as a candidate, that he wants to stop the war in Ukraine – we take them quite seriously,” Putin said during a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

”I certainly don’t know what, exactly, his proposal would be and how he plans to achieve that. And that is the key question. But I don’t doubt his sincerity and we welcome” the sentiment, the Russian leader added.

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has challenged Trump to make public his plans on resolving the crisis, or at least to share them with the government in Kiev. In an interview with Bloomberg this week, he urged the Republican to clarify the policies he wants to adopt regarding his country.

”If there are risks to Ukrainian independence, if we lose statehood – we want to be ready for this; we want to know,” he said.

Putin also distanced himself from the US presidential debate last week, in which Biden failed to perform well, possibly furthering Trump’s chances of victory. The Russian president said the event was of limited interest to his office, even though the US as a great power has significant influence on Ukraine.

Putin has previously claimed that he preferred Biden to retain the US presidency for another term, since the Democrat is an old-school politician, whose actions are more predictable than Trump’s.

READ MORE: Putin weighs in on Biden-Trump debate

Asked whether he considered his “bet” on Biden in doubt after the debate, Putin said he remained convinced that US policy regarding Russia will not change meaningfully regardless of who wins the upcoming election.

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