Trump aides in back-door Ukraine peace plan: NYT

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, a business associate and a Ukrainian lawmaker have drawn up a peace plan for the Russia-Ukraine conflict, presenting the proposal to the administration's former national security advisor, the New York Times reported Sunday.

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 report underscored stubborn allegations of improper Russian influence on the Trump administration, with US intelligence agencies saying Moscow meddled in the American election in November to tip the outcome in the Republican's favor.

According to the Times, the amateur diplomats behind the proposal are Cohen; Felix Sater, a business associate who helped Trump scout deals in Russia; and Andrii Artemenko, an upstart Ukrainian lawmaker who claims to have evidence of corruption that could oust President Petro Poroshenko.

The report said the proposal, which outlined a way for Washington to lift sanctions against Russia, was a plan concocted by Artemenko essentially requiring the withdrawal of all Russian forces from eastern Ukraine. 

"Ukrainian voters would decide in a referendum whether Crimea, the Ukrainian territory seized by Russia in 2014, would be leased to Russia for a term of 50 or 100 years," the Times said.

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