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No more ‘endless’ payments to Zelensky – Trump

The former president has said that he would “settle” the Ukraine conflict even before assuming office

Former US President Donald Trump has said that he would stop handing over tens of billions of dollars to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky, promising to have the situation in Ukraine “settled” if he is re-elected this year.

“I think Zelensky is maybe the greatest salesman of any politician that’s ever lived,” Trump told supporters at ‘The People’s Convention’, a conservative conference held by Turning Point Action in Michigan on Saturday.

“Every time he comes to our country, he walks away with $60 billion,” Trump said of the Ukrainian leader. “So now here’s the beauty. He just left four days ago with $60 billion, and he gets home and he announces that he needs another $60 billion or else it never ends, it never ends.”

The US and other G7 nations on Thursday announced a $50 billion loan for Ukraine, which would be backed by revenue generated by roughly $300 billion in frozen Russian assets. While Zelensky did not ask for “another $60 billion” after leaving the G7 gathering in Italy, he has repeatedly chided his Western backers for not handing over sufficient quantities of cash and weapons, and intensely lobbied Republican lawmakers in Washington to approve a $61 billion military aid package in April.

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Republican presidential candidate, former US President Donald Trump gives remarks to the press on June 13, 2024 in Washington, DC.
Trump comments on his relations with Putin

“I will have that settled prior to taking the White House,” Trump told the crowd in Michigan. “As president-elect, I will have that settled.” Trump then reiterated, as he has on numerous occasions since 2022, that the Ukraine conflict “never would have happened” had he been president.

Trump has repeatedly argued that US President Joe Biden’s policy of open-ended military support for Ukraine is leading the US toward a “third world war,” and has promised that he would end the conflict “in 24 hours” if he defeats Biden in this November’s presidential election.

Trump has never fully elaborated on how he would do this, save for forcing Zelensky to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but recent reports by Bloomberg and the Washington Post suggest that he would leverage the US’ massive military assistance to Kiev to pressure Zelensky into accepting the loss of some of Ukraine’s pre-conflict territory.

However, Trump did not lobby his Congressional allies to block the $61 billion aid package in April, and said at the time that he would support lending, rather than gifting, money to Zelensky in future.

June 17, 2024 at 02:28AM

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