Trump’s pledge ‘a little scary’ – Zelensky
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has voiced concern that Donald Trump’s plan for swiftly ending the conflict between Kiev and Moscow might not take Kiev’s interests into account.
In an interview with the UK’s Channel 4 News on Friday, Zelensky was asked to comment on the former US president’s repeated claim that if he returns to the White House following this year’s election, he will end the fighting between Russia and Ukraine in just 24 hours.
“I don't know if his message… will have such [a] positive result as he said,” the Ukrainian leader remarked in English. It could be just a “political message” made by a candidate during the “complicated” election period, “but if it's some formula – I have to know it,” he said.
The reporter then asked the Ukrainian leader if he wanted to invite Trump to arrive in Kiev in person to explain his plan.
“Yes, please, Donald Trump, I invite you to Ukraine, to Kiev. So, if you can stop the war during 24 hours I think it will be enough to come, on any day,” he said.
Zelensky then clarified his stance in Ukrainian, saying he was concerned that if Trump takes office again “he’ll make decisions [regarding the conflict] on his own… without both sides, without us. I will now talk about us. Why? Because if he says this publicly, it’s a little scary.”
If Trump’s idea of ending the fighting in 24 hours “which no one has heard about... will not work for us, for our people, then he will do everything to achieve the implementation of his idea anyway. And this is what worries me a little,” the Ukrainian leader stressed.
Addressing a crowd of his supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday night, Trump said, “I know [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin very well; I know Zelensky well. I’m gonna get them in; we’re gonna get it solved very quickly.”
On Thursday, in his interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the former US president reiterated his other claim that “Putin would’ve never attacked Ukraine” if he was still in office.
When asked about ways to end the conflict in Ukraine last week, Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., suggested that “the only way” to persuade Zelensky to engage in talks with Russia was to “cut off the money” that’s being provided to Kiev by Washington.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Zelensky tried to brush off concerns that US aid to Ukraine would halt if Trump were back in power. “One man can’t change the whole nation,” he argued.