Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky invited Donald Trump to visit Ukraine during an interview with the American channel NBC News. Not for diplomatic reasons, but to explain to the ex-president why he cannot end the war between Russia and Ukraine in 24 hours.
“If he can come here, I need 24 minutes. Not anymore. 24 minutes to explain (to) President Trump that he cannot solve this war. He cannot bring peace through Putin.”
Zelensky refers to an earlier statement by Trump with 24 minutes. The former American president had during an interview with NBC News promised in September that he could end the war between Russia and Ukraine within 24 hours if re-elected in 2024. He then gave few details about how he would accomplish the task, saying: “If I tell you exactly, I will lose my negotiating position.”
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During the interview, Zelensky did not say a word about his own history with Trump. The House of Representatives initiated impeachment proceedings against the latter in 2019 because he had asked the Ukrainian leader to collect incriminating information about Joe Biden, then a senator and presidential candidate, and his son Hunter in exchange for arms deliveries. The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump, allowing him to complete his term.
President Joe Biden visited Ukraine earlier this year, just days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion. Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie also went to Ukraine, as did Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence when he was still a presidential candidate.
Zelensky said on Sunday that he has not had contact with Trump since he left the White House in 2021. When asked whether he thinks Trump supports Ukraine, Zelensky responded skeptically. “I really do not know. It depends not only on the president, but also on the opinion of the Americans, of your society.”
No talks with Russia
Zelensky also said in the interview that Ukrainians are “not ready to give up their freedom to that fucking terrorist Putin.” He said he is “unwilling” to hold talks with Russia unless the country withdraws its troops from Ukraine. “The United States knows that I am not willing to talk to terrorists because their word is worthless,” he said.