Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was worried by the prospect of Donald Trump returning to the White House, branding Trump’s claim that he could stop Ukraine’s war with Russia in 24 hours as “very dangerous.”
In an interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News that aired on January 19, President Zelenskyy invited the former president and criminally indicted front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination to visit Kyiv, but only if Trump delivers on his promise.
“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,” President Zelenskyy said.
The Ukrainian leader also shared his concern about the U.S. taking unilateral action that failed to consider Ukraine’s perspective, noting the dearth of details around Trump’s “peace plan.”
President Zelenskyy described the former president’s rhetoric as “very dangerous” and appeared to be apprehensive that Trump’s idea of a negotiated solution might involve Ukraine making major concessions to Russia.
“(Trump) is going to make decisions on his own, without … I’m not even talking about Russia, but without both sides, without us,” President Zelenskyy said. “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.”
He 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.”
Trump has repeatedly insisted that he was well-positioned to negotiate an end to the war that has raged for almost two years, saying he has a good relationship with both Russian and Ukrainian leaders. Trump’s false and grandiose claims have been well documented, especially in criminal court hearings.
Throughout his political career, he has frequently lavished praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin, including after Moscow’s February 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Experts widely agree that had Trump been re-elected, Putin would have seized control of Ukraine.
At a campaign rally in Georgia just days after Russian tanks moved into Ukraine, Trump described Putin as a “smart” political player and expressed admiration for Russia’s swift takeover of a vast, “great piece of land” at the cost of what he suggested were relatively minor sanctions.
The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump when he was president, presenting evidence that he pressured President Zelenskyy to pursue a politically motivated probe that might hurt Joe Biden’s chance to win the 2020 presidential election.
Accused of using mob-style tactics, Trump withheld $400 million in military aid – that Congress approved to help Ukraine confront Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east, until his personal political demand was met.
The Senate acquitted Trump of the impeachment charges, the first of two impeachment trials, because MAGA Republicans beholden to Trump refused to hold him accountable and refused to concede their gerrymandered grip on power.