One thing seems certain when it comes to retiring junior Senator Bob Corker, he intends to make himself as much of a pest for President Donald Trump as he can during his remaining time in the U.S. Senate.
Now, he’s lecturing him on Crimea: Corker warns Trump against recognizing Crimea annexation
“Recognizing Crimea as part of Russia would undermine the rules-based international order that was created with U.S. leadership and has caused democracy to thrive around the world and made America a safer home for our citizens,” Corker said in a tweet on Monday, without directly mentioning Trump.
Corker added that in the “upcoming Helsinki summit, the U.S. must stand firmly with our NATO allies and affirm our transatlantic partnership. Doing otherwise strengthens Putin and undermines democratic values.”
Additionally, Corker’s criticism comes as he’s abroad. He’s currently traveling in Northern Europe.
As we look forward to the upcoming Helsinki summit, the U.S. must stand firmly with our NATO allies and affirm our transatlantic partnership. Doing otherwise strengthens Putin and undermines democratic values.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) July 2, 2018
Trump is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.
Meanwhile, Putin has said there’s no expectation the issue will be on the agenda one way or the other. For now at least, this is a controversy purely of corker’s making.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has no intention of discussing the status of Crimea, a region annexed from Ukraine in 2014, during his upcoming summit with President Trump.
“Crimea cannot and will never be on the agenda because Crimea is an integral part of Russia,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.
That’s a rebuff of Trump’s promise that he would discuss the Ukraine crisis with Putin when the two leaders meet in Helsinki, Finland, for their first formal bilateral meeting. The hardline tone contrasts with Trump’s more generic comments, when he assured reporters that he would have a wide-ranging discussion with his Russian counterpart.
“We’re going to be talking about Ukraine, we’re going to be talking about Syria, we’re going to be talking about elections,” Trump said Friday. “We don’t want anybody tampering with elections. We’ll be talking about world events. We’ll be talking about peace.”