Zelensky Slams Trump Claims on Russian War: 'Very Dangerous'

Ukraine leader is nervous of possible return to WH for Trump, who said he could stop war in 24 hours
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2024 10:45 AM CST
Zelensky Slams Trump Claims on Russian War: 'Very Dangerous'
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump is seen after speaking at a campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was worried by the prospect of Donald Trump returning to the White House, branding Trump's claim that he could stop Ukraine's war with Russia in 24 hours as "very dangerous." In an interview with the UK's Channel 4 News that aired Friday, Zelensky invited the former president and frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination to visit Kyiv, but only if Trump delivers on his promise, per the AP. "Donald Trump, I invite you to Ukraine, to Kyiv. If you can stop the war during 24 hours, I think it will be enough to come," Zelensky said. The Ukrainian leader also shared his concern about the US taking unilateral action that failed to consider Ukraine's perspective, noting the dearth of details around Trump's "peace plan."

Zelensky described the former president's rhetoric as "very dangerous" and appeared to be apprehensive that Trump's idea of a negotiated solution might involve Ukraine making major concessions to Russia. "[Trump] is going to make decisions on his own, without ... I'm not even talking about Russia, but without both sides, without us," Zelensky said. "If he says this publicly, that's a little scary. I've seen a lot, a lot of victims, but that's really making me a bit stressed." Zelensky added: "Because even if his idea [for ending the war]—that no one has heard yet—doesn't work for us, for our people, he will do anything to implement his idea anyway. And this worries me a little." Trump has repeatedly insisted that he's well-positioned to negotiate an end to the war that has raged for almost two years, saying he has a good relationship with both Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

Throughout his political career, Trump has frequently lavished praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin, including after Moscow's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. At a campaign rally in Georgia just days after Russian tanks moved into Ukraine, Trump described Putin as a "smart" political player and expressed admiration for Russia's swift takeover of a vast, "great piece of land" at the cost of what he suggested were relatively minor sanctions. The US House of Representatives impeached Trump when he was president, alleging he pressured Zelensky to pursue a politically motivated probe that might hurt Joe Biden's chance to win the 2020 presidential election while withholding $400 million in military aid that Congress approved to help Ukraine confront Russian-backed separatists in the country's east. The Senate acquitted Trump of the impeachment charges.

(More Volodymyr Zelensky stories.)

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