Zelensky urges Trump to ‘not waste time’ and share proposal on ending Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine leader plans to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as Republicans debate aid as part of funding talks to avoid 30 September government shutdown

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 20 September 2023 05:25 BST
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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky criticised Donald Trump for promising to swiftly end the Russian invasion without offering up many specifics, as the Eastern European leader is in the US for the United Nations General Assembly and a series of meetings in Washington.

“He can publicly share his idea now, not waste time, not to lose people,” Mr Zelensky told CNN on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian president also said he has concerns that Donald Trump’s idea of peace would mean ceding territory to Russia.

Mr Zelensky said if Mr Trump’s proposals including “how to tame part of our territory and how to give it to Putin, that is not a peace formula” or a “global idea of peace.”

The former US president has boasted that he could end the Ukraine war in a matter of days or hours by facilitating negotiations between Mr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin and cutting some kind of deal.

During a recent interview with NBC, Mr Trump said he was happy to hear that Mr Putin praised this outlook.

“Well, I like that he said that. Because that means what I’m saying is right,” Mr Trump said.

Zelensky addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on Tuesday
Zelensky addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on Tuesday (AFP via Getty Images)

The Ukrainian leader also had a message for another prominent Republican, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who is in the middle of a contentious intra-party fight over government spending, part of which revolves around further aid to Ukraine.

Mr McCarthy has said he would prefer to vote on Ukraine funding as a standalone bill, rather than the $24bn in security and humanitarian the White House is seeking in the spending negotiations.

“Is Zelensky elected to Congress? Is he our president? I don’t think I have to commit anything and I think I have questions for him,” Mr McCarthy told ABC News on Tuesday.

Trump reveals plan after claiming he would end Ukraine war 'in 24 hours'

“Where’s the accountability on the money we’ve already spent? What is the plan for victory? I think that’s what the American public wants to know,” he added.

Mr Zelensky said he plans to meet with Mr McCarthy, and said the Ukraine war was a unique situation that differs from regular domestic politics.

“When it comes to war, it’s different,” he told CNN.

Far-right Republicans in the House have opposed further funding to Ukraine, while others, particularly those in the Senate, have suggested continued aid now.

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