Thứ ba, 12 10th

Last updateThứ 3, 10 12 2019 5pm

Zelenskiy: Allies 'Can't Go Blocking' Aid at Time of War

WASHINGTON - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an interview Monday that he didn't speak with President Donald Trump “from the position of a quid pro quo” last summer. Zelenskiy says, “That's not my thing. I don't want us to look like beggars.”

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FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks with journalists in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct. 10, 2019.

Trump later claimed Zelenskiy had said Trump had done nothing wrong. But Zelenskiy didn't go that far.

The Ukrainian leader spoke to Time ahead of the first round of expected peace talks with Russia Dec. 9 in Paris — the two countries have been embroiled in war along the Ukraine border for the past five years.

Zelenskiy, a former comedian turned politician, has been in office for barely six months and his conversations with Trump are the topic of intense scrutiny in the U.S., with their July 25 phone call at the center of the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Zelenskiy was asked whether there was a connection between Trump's decision to block military assistance to Ukraine and the two investigations he asked Zelenskiy to do. One was on possible meddling by Ukraine in the 2016 elections, the other was about the family of Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the sidelines of the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 25, 2019.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the sidelines of the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 25, 2019.

“Look I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo,” Zelenskiy said. “But you have to understand. We're at war. If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us. I think that's just about fairness. It's not about a quid pro quo.”

Trump later told reporters as he departed Monday for London for the NATO summit that Zelenskiy's comments should be “case closed,” mischaracterizing the interview by saying that Zelenskiy had come out and said “very strongly that President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong.”

Zelenskiy also said when leaders like Trump call his country corrupt, it sends a concerning message.

“Everyone hears that signal,” he said. “Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, it's a signal to them that says, `Be careful, don't invest.' Or, `Get out of there.”'

When asked whether he had any trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin going into the peace talks next week, he said: “I don't trust anyone at all.”

“Politics is not an exact science,” Zelenskiy said.

Source: https://www.voanews.com/europe/zelenskiy-allies-cant-go-blocking-aid-time-war

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