Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has lashed out at former President Trump over his Ukraine stance and recent rhetoric, particularly the GOP presidential front-runner’s claim that he can negotiate peace between Kiev and Moscow within 24 hours.
Trump’s persistent statements saying he would intercede diplomatically and end the war has been met with mockery among top Ukrainian officials. Zelensky in a fresh interview with UK’s Channel 4 News has called Trump’s rhetoric “very dangerous”.
“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,” he said in the interview published Friday.
“(Trump) is going to make decisions on his own, without … I’m not even talking about Russia, but without both sides, without us,” Zelensky continued. “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.”
The Ukrainian leader 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.” It was within this context Zelensky followed by saying this is “very dangerous.”
Trump has repeatedly pledged while doing campaign rallies, “I will have it solved within one day, a peace between them.”
The Biden White House has so far resisted any serious efforts to get Moscow at the same table talking to the Ukrainian side, given that realistically it would involve having to make territorial concessions.
The US has only supported Zelensky’s plan, which demands that Russian troops immediately given up all seized territory in eastern Ukraine, relinquish Crimea, and pay war reparations to the Kiev government.
Zelensky and his top officials were at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this past week pushing for more countries, and especially representatives of the Global South, to get behind the plan.
Donald Trump – after his victory in Iowa:
▪️We want peace through strength. Russia would never have attacked Ukraine, would never have done that. Putin and I get along great.
▪️The situation with Ukraine is so terrible. And we’re going to solve it, we’re going to solve it very… pic.twitter.com/TvmSKKScsI
— EHA News (@eha_news) January 16, 2024
Last week, Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak said that Kiev now believes it is crucial for China to be at the table for future talks on its peace formula. “China needs to be involved in talks to end the war with Russia,” the Ukrainian top representative said following diplomatic meetings related to the WEF. China remains the most influential Global South country widely viewed as squarely in Russia’s corner, having refused to rebuke Moscow or join Western-led sanctions after two years of the conflict.