Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited Donald Trump to visit while emphasizing that his nation, torn by war, requires at least another year of more support from the United States.
Trump has often boasted about his capability to end the war within 24 hours if he were to become president, but Zelensky indicated that he would dispel or rectify the former president’s belief.
“I invite President Trump if he can come here. I will need 24 minutes…to explain [to] President Trump that he can’t manage this war, that he can’t bring peace because of Putin,” Zelensky told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday.
“If he’s not ready to give our territory for this terrible man,” Zelensky went on, “if you’re not ready to give our independence…he’s very welcome.”
Zelensky noted that he hasn’t had any contact with Trump since the latter departed the White House and conceded he doesn’t know if the former president would have Ukraine’s back.
He also thanked President Biden, who visited the war-torn nation back in February to mark the one-year anniversary of the conflict.
“I’m really thankful to President Biden, by the way, he was here and I think he’s a strong man,” Zelensky stated. “He’s a hero.”
About 20 months into the conflict, financial support for Ukraine has become a contentious issue, especially among Republicans who are becoming more hesitant about providing additional aid to the nation.
But the Ukrainian president underscored that the next year will be critical in the fighting to stave off Russian invaders.
“The gap will be minimized in our budget and after that — after next year, if the war will not finish next year … I think we will manage to minimize this gap. And you will not help us [at] such [a] high price, I’m sure,” Zelensky said in choppy English.
Since the war broke out in February 2022, the US has approved about $113 billion in both military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Biden is seeking an additional $61.4 billion for his ally as part of a sprawling $106 billion supplemental request that has met resistance in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
Zelensky re-upped his entreaty to the American public for further US aid, by highlighting the benefits to the US of backing Ukraine.
“Don’t send your soldiers. God bless, don’t send your daughters and son to other NATO country. Because if Russia will kill all of us [in Ukraine], they will attack NATO countries and you will send your sons and daughters,” he said. “The price will be higher…believe in democracy, believe in Ukraine.”
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