Trump's Lawyer Involved With Secret Plan to Lift Russian Sanctions

Galibarenko said she was assured by remarks from the U.S. vice-president, Mike Pence, and the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, that sanctions would be maintained against Moscow until it ends its support for Russian nationalists in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has condemned the decision to recognise separatist passports.

According to the report, Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen hand-delivered the proposal to the office of Michael Flynn, who resigned in disgrace a week later due to a separate incident involving contacts with Moscow's ambassador in Washington.

The statements came as demonstrators in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv marked the third anniversary of events that led to the ouster of the nation's Russia-friendly president in 2014 with protests and wreath-laying.

"How can Russian Federation take its own region on lease?"

France regrets this decision, which is not in the spirit of the Minsk agreements.

"With the recognition of passports to Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics, Moscow lets everybody know that pressure on the Ukrainian question won't give any results", Pushkov tweeted.

"This law does not violate worldwide law in any way", Peskov said. It also recognized birth and marriage certificates, drivers licenses and educational qualifications among other documents issued by the rebels.

President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, recently hand delivered a sealed "peace plan" to the White House which outlined a way to remove the US sanctions on Russian Federation, and which was conceived by a pro-Putin Ukrainian lawmaker who was connected to Cohen by a Trump business associate with links to the mafia.

European diplomats see the Kremlin's move as a warning to Ukraine and the west, amid disappointment in Moscow that the new United States administration has failed to side with Russian Federation in the conflict.

The latest attempt to silence the guns in Ukraine was agreed after more than 30 people were killed in a sharp uptick of violence this month between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii V. Artemenko, who met with Trump's campaign team during the election, was also involved in drafting the proposal.

Poroshenko, meanwhile, also faces challenges at home, where a worsening economy has fueled public discontent and nationalists have pushed for a tougher course against rebel regions.

"Moscow says it made the move" on humanitarian grounds" as people in eastern Ukraine face "blockades" and in many cases can not receive social benefits such as pensions or have no "adequate access" to hospitals and medicines amid ongoing clashes. He said that he notified US Vice President Mike Pence of the decree.

Tanks are seen near the government-held town of Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Yuras Karmanau in Minsk, Belarus and Frank Jordans and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed.

  • Leroy Wright