Zelensky Challenges Trump: 'Tell Us Today How To Finish The War'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday has issued an open challenge to former President Donald Trump, telling him that if the presumed Republican nominee has a peace plan for Ukraine, he should immediately inform the Ukrainian government.

"If Trump knows how to finish this war, he should tell us today," Zelensky told Bloomberg Television in an interview given from Kiev on Wednesday. But he also warned that his government will never accept a peace plan that violates Ukraine's sovereignty. "If there are risks to Ukrainian independence, if we lose statehoodwe want to be ready for this, we want to know," Zelensky asserted. 

His wording of "if we lose statehood" in the context of discussing a potential Trump peace proposal appears set up to blame a possible future Trump administration for Ukraine losing the war. He said he's "potentially ready" to meet Trump and his team and explore a vision for bringing the war to an end.

Zelensky went on to claim in the interview that his military's manpower crisis is not as severe as has been reported, with the situation in much better shape that it was several months ago. He also pushed back against widespread media reports which paint a hopeless picture of Ukraine's battlefield chances. He described that it's not a matter of not enough men, but that not enough weapons are reaching his forces at a fast enough rate.

"It’s not a deadlock, it’s a problematic situation," Zelensky said. "A deadlock means there’s no way out. But a problem can be solved if one has the will and has the tools. We do have the will, and the tools – they haven’t arrived yet."

It has been a common theme of his to castigate Western partners for increasingly slow weapons and ammo deliveries, despite the billions already sunk in to Kiev. This was again repeated in the Bloomberg interview:

While Zelenskiy lauded the $61 billion assistance package approved by the US Congress this year — after a six-month long delay — he said the equipment was taking too long to make its way to the front

"This is the biggest tragedy of this war, that between the decision and real fact, we have a real long, long, long wait," Zelenskiy said. 

As for Trump, and the question of whether a future Republican administration might throttle arms and aid deliveries, Zelensky said, "They can’t plan my life and life of our people and our children." He added: "We want to understand whether in November we will have the powerful support of the US, or will be all alone."

"Nobody has an answer," Zelensky continued. "I’m not accusing, I’m just explaining," he said in the interview which happened to come a day after he hosted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for the first time of the war. Orban had also urged entering quick peace negotiations with Russia.

As for Trump's peace plan, a report in Reuters last week said that it centers on giving an ultimatum to Kiev - that it will only receive more American weapons and defense aid if it agrees to enter peace talks with Moscow. Another key 'controversial' part of the plan is to freeze battle lines where they are during the progression of peace talks, something which is likely to be unpopular among Ukrainian and NATO officials.

Zelensky has clearly appeared more open to negotiating a peace settlement of late. Below is an media statement from last week...

Interestingly, there was also this moment of the fresh Bloomberg interview: "Zelenskiy declined to weigh in on Biden’s disastrous performance in last week’s debate, which he said he watched. Instead of domestic politics, he gauged each candidate’s position on Ukraine."

As we've been reporting over the last months, NATO leadership has been busy trying to "Trump-proof" future alliance funding and support to Ukraine. This includes the current proposal of a $100 billion, five-year fund for Ukraine which will be considered at the NATO July annual summit which comes next week (July 9-10) in Washington DC.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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