Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Donald Trump to share his peace plans to resolve the conflict between his country and Kyiv in a CNN interview on Tuesday.
Former president Trump has previously pledged to end the conflict within 24 hours of assuming the presidency if elected next year. He has yet to reveal how he plans to do this, but the Ukrainian President warned against trying to cede any existing territory to the Kremlin.
Despite Vladimir Putin’s initial promise not to annex any Ukrainian land beyond Crimea in February 2022, Russia claimed to annex four oblasts following sham referendums last September, even though Russian forces do not have full control over any of them.
Donald Trump’s Ukraine Plan
The Republican frontrunner is yet to reveal how he will end the conflict, although he promised to make it “a fair deal for everybody” in an interview with NBC News. Asked whether ceding Ukrainian territory would be a victory for Putin, Trump replied: “You know, that’s something that could have been negotiated. Because there were certain parts, Crimea, and other parts of the country, that a lot of people expected could happen. You could have made a deal. So, they could have made a deal where there’s less territory right now than Russia’s already taken, to be honest.”
Zelensky is currently in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly prior to visits to Congress and the White House.
“[Trump] can publicly share his idea now, not waste time, not to lose people, and say, ‘My formula is to stop the war and stop all this tragedy and stop Russian aggression,’” Zelensky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And he said, how he sees it, how to push Russian from our land. Otherwise, he’s not presenting the global idea of peace.”
The Ukrainian President added that giving part of his country’s territory was “not the peace formula” required to stop Russian aggression.
Growing discontent in Republican circles has prompted some candidates to promise an end to support for Kyiv if elected next year.
Zelensky said it was difficult for those who have not witnessed the conflict to compare domestic concerns with aggression from a hostile neighbor.
“It’s so difficult to understand when you are in war, and when you are not in war,” Zelensky said. “Even when you come to the war, to the country which is in war, when you come to one day, you can understand more than you live, you hear, you think, you read. No, you can’t compare. It’s a different situation. That’s why I’m thinking we can’t compare these challenges.”
Some concern has arisen from the more than $70 billion pledged to the country so far by the U.S., which in turn has seen limited gains by the Ukrainian armed forces through its summer counteroffensive. On whether Ukraine will succeed in a major breakthrough after the winter thaw, Zelensky said that “nobody knows” but added: “I think that we will have more success.”
About the Author
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.