Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Donald Trump to share his peace plans publicly if the former US president has a way to end the war between Ukraine and Russia ¸— but he cautioned that any peace plan under which Kyiv gives up territory would be unacceptable.
“So (if) the idea is how to take the part of our territory and to give (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, that is not the peace formula,” Zelensky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, following his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
Trump, during a CNN’s town hall in May, declined to say who should prevail in Russia’s war against Ukraine, instead saying he wanted the bloodshed to end. “And I’ll have that done in 24 hours.”
Pressed Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about whether the deal would let Putin keep the land he’s taken, Trump said, “No, no. I’d make a fair deal for everybody. Nope, I’d make it fair.”
Trump, asked at the time whether it would be a win for Putin, said, “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 lesser territory right now than Russia’s already taken, to be honest.”
Zelensky’s trip to the United Nations comes as Ukraine is facing its stiffest headwinds in the US to date over support for the war.
A faction of the House GOP conference is openly hostile to providing Ukraine with any additional military aid, and it remains unclear whether House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will be willing to sign off on more funding.
Zelensky said he’s planning to meet with McCarthy when he travels to Washington, DC, later this week. He is also scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden during his trip.
Asked about those skeptical of offering more funding to Ukraine, Zelensky said that it was difficult for those who have not seen war up close to compare domestic problems like civil rights or energy to the existential threat facing a country under attack.
“It’s so difficult to understand when you are in war, and when you are not in war,” Zelensky said.