What's the Ukrainian peace plan accidentally revealed to be at the center of Manafort's latest filing?

Paul Manafort
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Paul Manafort's lawyers Tuesday inadvertently revealed that he may have discussed a "Ukrainian peace plan" with a political operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, it should: A Ukrainian peace plan has been of interest ever since The New York Times reported in 2017 that Michael Flynn, when he was national security adviser, received a Ukrainian peace plan proposal from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. That proposal was put together by Andrii Artemenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker who reportedly "received encouragement" from aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The proposal would involve Russia pulling forces from eastern Ukraine and allow Ukrainian voters to decide whether Crimea should be leased to Russia 50 or 100 years, along with lifting sanctions on Russia. It heavily favors Russia's interests, The Atlantic notes, and came under scrutiny as the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia began to be investigated. Artemenko in May 2018 revealed that he had been questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, Politico reports.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Tuesday's filing appears to reveal for the first time that Manafort was also involved in discussions of a Ukrainian peace plan, talking about it with Konstantin Kilimnik. It's wasn't completely clear if they discussed the same one that ended up in Flynn's hands, though, and Felix Sater, who was involved in getting the Artemenko plan to the White House, claims the two plans are different, McClatchy's Ben Wieder reports. But while it's unclear what the one Manafort and Kilimnik discussed might have entailed, the Times notes that Manafort and Kilimnik have a history of pushing Russia's interests in Ukraine.

According to the filing, Manafort "conceded" that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Kilimnik "on more than one occasion." His lawyers insist he did not recall this when initially speaking to investigators because "issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the forefront of Mr. Manafort's mind."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.