Ukraine’s Zelensky Says Not Sure About Trump’s Return to US Presidency

Wed Jul 10 2024
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WASHINGTON: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said he could not predict what former president Donald Trump would do if he regains the US presidency in November, but the whole world, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, was awaiting the outcome of the upcoming election.

Speaking in Washington, as leaders gathered for the NATO summit, Zelensky emphasized his hope that the United States would maintain its support for Ukraine in its defence against Russia’s ongoing incursion, now into its third year.

“I don’t know (him) very well,” Zelensky remarked about Trump, noting positive past meetings but acknowledging they occurred before Russia’s 2022 invasion. “I can’t tell you what he will do, if he will be the president of the United States. I don’t know.”

Trump, the probable Republican nominee for the upcoming US presidential election, has previously criticized the level of US military aid provided to Ukraine, amounting to approximately $60 billion since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022. He has also made comments suggesting a willingness to reconsider US commitments to NATO allies if they fail to increase defence spending.

Zelensky’s interactions with Trump became contentious during the latter’s presidency, leading to Trump’s impeachment by the US House of Representatives in 2019 over allegations related to Ukrainian assistance and political favors.

On the other hand, President Joe Biden, currently facing questions about his political viability following a recent debate, has pledged strong support for Ukraine at the NATO summit. Despite internal challenges, Biden’s administration has reiterated commitments to defending Ukraine and providing necessary military aid.

Zelensky urged US political leaders not to delay support for Ukraine until after the election. “Everyone is waiting for November,” Zelensky stated. “Putin awaits November too.”

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