President Zelensky has reacted angrily to Donald Trump’s so-called plan to stop the war in Ukraine, saying if the former US leader “has got some smart ideas” he should “share them with us.”
Trump has repeatedly made the claim in recent months but has not elaborated how he would actually achieve it, merely saying that all he would have to do is “get them in a room” and “say certain things to Putin” and “say certain things to Zelensky.”
Asked about the plans, a visibly agitated Zelensky speaking in Ukrainian said: “If he’s got some smart ideas, he can share them with us, of course. He can publicly share his idea now, not waste time, so as not to lose people, and say, ‘My formula is to stop the war and stop all this tragedy and stop Russian aggression,’ say how he sees it, how to push Russia from our land. Otherwise, he’s not presenting the global idea of peace.”
Zelensky concluded that “the idea is how to take the part of our territory and to give Putin, that is not the peace formula.”
CNN host Wolf Blitzer then asked Zelensky if Ukraine was ready to cede territory to Russia.
Switching to English, Zelensky replied: “We’re not ready [to give up territory to Russia]. But the question for Trump – or to someone else, maybe it’s not his idea – is ‘is the United States ready to give up territory after Putin has said he would use nuclear weapons?’
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“[Putin] has said publicly a lot of times that he can use nuclear weapons on Europe or maybe some other target.
“So it means that countries including the United States and the EU – countries that are afraid because people are afraid of such messages – are ready to give Putin what he wants.”
Zelensky then said this would only reward Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and it would set the stage for more conflict driven by Russia.
While Zelensky is not a fan of Trump’s proposed plan, it has drawn praise from Putin, who said recently: “We surely hear that Mr. Trump says he will resolve all burning issues within several days, including the Ukrainian crisis.
“We cannot help but feel happy about it.”
In an interview with NBC News published on Sunday, Trump appeared to revel in the praise, saying: “Well, I like that he said that…
“And I’d have a deal worked out. I would get a deal worked out. It would’ve been a lot easier before it started.”
Trump once again refused to go into detail about his plan, saying that “if I tell you exactly, I lose all my bargaining chips.”
He added: “But I would say certain things to Putin. I would say certain things to Zelensky, both of whom I get along.”
Trump has repeatedly made the same vague claims over the last few months.
During a town hall event on Fox News in June, where he also said he “got along with Putin” and made bizarre comments about the current waves of Russian missile and drone attacks against Kyiv, he said: “I want to stop that war, I don’t want that war to continue.
“And I’ll stop that war, mark my words, I’ll stop that war in 24 hours.”
The event’s host Sean Hannity then interrupted to say: “Mr. President, let me ask. Serious question. How do you stop that war in 24 hours?”
He replied: “I will get them into a room, and I know an exact way. You tell one ‘you’re not going to get anything unless you make a deal.’ You tell the other one ‘they’re going to get a lot unless you make a deal.’
“And you just sit them, and you put them, and you have to make a determination.”
Although Trump did not say which one was which, his comments appear to suggest he would force Ukraine to accept the loss of territories illegally occupied and annexed by Russian forces with the threat of rewarding President Putin with even more if they refuse to accept his offer.
Trump was asked directly in the NBC interview if he would make Ukraine give up territory to Russia. He replied “no, no, no, no,” adding: “I’d make a fair deal for everybody. Nope, I’d make it fair.”
Again, he did not say how this would be achieved.