Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on former President Donald Trump to share the details of the “fair deal” he promises to broker between Ukraine and Russia if reelected to the White House next year.
Zelensky sat down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer following his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday, where the Ukrainian leader warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression toward Kyiv could turn into a “weapon” against the rest of the world if not contained, reports The New York Times. Zelensky’s address comes as the war in Ukraine nears the 19-month mark and during a crucial point for Kyiv’s counteroffensive to reclaim Moscow-occupied territory.
During his conversation with Blitzer, Zelensky was asked about his reaction to Trump’s comments to NBC News on Sunday, where the former president sat down with moderator Kristen Welker to discuss a wide range of topics, including the Ukraine war. Trump asserted to Welker that if he were president, he would be able to find an end to the conflict, finding a “fair deal for everybody” involved.
“First of all, I don’t see any details in this,” Zelensky told CNN, according to a translation of his interview. “Of course we have another year before the elections. If he’s got some smart ideas, he could share it with us, of course. We need a strong position, obviously.”
“He can publicly share his idea now, not waste time, not to lose people, and say, ‘My formula is to stop the war and stop all this tragedy and stop Russian aggression,'” Zelensky continued. “And he said, how he sees it, how to push Russia from our land. Otherwise, he’s not presenting the global idea of peace.”
“So (if) the idea is how to take the part of our territory and to give it to Putin, that is not the peace formula,” the Ukrainian leader added.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that he could end the war in Ukraine in “24 hours” and swears that Putin would have never launched his full-scale invasion if Trump were still in office. Welker pressed the former president during their interview if he would allow Putin to keep the Ukrainian territory that he’s unlawfully annexed in order to cease fighting between the two sides. Trump denied that this was part of his plan.
When asked if a fair deal would also mean “a win for Putin,” Trump said it was something “that could have been negotiated.”
“Because there were certain parts, Crimea and other parts of the country, that a lot of people expected could happen” Trump told Welker. “You could have made a deal. So they could have made a deal where there’s lesser territory right now than Russia’s already taken, to be honest.
Trump also told Welker that in terms of choosing a side in the war, “I’m on the side of people stop being killed.”
Zelensky has vowed that the war cannot end unless the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Putin in 2014, is returned to Kyiv’s control. Neither country has indicated that it’s ready to discuss a peace treaty anytime soon, and Putin recently suggested that he’s ready for a long war in Ukraine.
Newsweek emailed Trump’s press team on Tuesday night for comment.