Zelensky: Trump’s war solution is “very dangerous”

This is the first time that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky openly criticizes Donald Trump.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has voiced his clear worry about Donald Trump’s claim that he could end the war between Russia and Ukraine in a day if he gets re-elected.

In an interview with Britain’s Channel Four News that was broadcasted on Friday, Zelensky said that the Republican candidate’s statement was “very dangerous” – because Trump did not specify what his plan for the post-war situation was.

Zelensky admitted that Trump’s assertion could be just a campaign tactic, or what he called a “political message.” But he said that the possibility that Trump as president would make choices that are not in the best interest of Ukraine or its people, and try to impose them anyway, “makes me really quite stressed.”

Trump has a tendency to make bold declarations on foreign policy. He showed it again in May last year, when he told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, “If I’m president, I will have that war settled in one day, 24 hours.” When asked how, Trump said he would meet with both Zelensky and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, telling Collins, “They both have weaknesses and they both have strengths and within 24 hours that war will be settled, that war will be over.”

Zelensky has generally avoided criticizing Trump, choosing not to get involved in the rift between Democrats and Trump-supporting Republicans, who have effectively stopped more US funding for Kyiv. At Davos earlier this week, when faced with a similar question from a journalist, the Ukrainian leader responded sarcastically, wondering how Trump would react if Putin invaded Ukraine – in a scenario where Trump withdrew all US support – and started to threaten NATO members with aggression.

Many people think that a Trump win in November is something Putin would like, as it would give him the chance, at the very least, to keep his territorial gains in Ukraine and claim a victory. On the other hand, Zelensky maintains that there can be no peace agreement that does not involve the withdrawal of all Russian forces from the lands they have taken from Ukraine since 2014, including Crimea.

Ukraine’s capacity to negotiate for that outcome has been considerably weakened, at least for now, by the failure of the summer counterattack. Nevertheless, the Biden administration, and the NATO alliance, have repeatedly emphasized that Ukraine will not be forced into any deal with Russia, summed up in the phrase: “Nothing about Ukraine, without Ukraine.”

When given the opportunity in the Channel Four News interview to invite Trump to Ukraine, Zelensky did not hesitate. Looking at the camera, he said, “Please, Donald Trump, I invite you to Ukraine, to Kyiv. If you can stop the war in 24 hours, I think it will be [reason] enough to come.”

“Maybe Donald Trump really has some idea, a real idea, and he can share it with me,” Zelensky added, turning back to the interviewer.

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