Dmitry Kuleba has hedged Kiev’s bets on the 2024 US presidential election
Seeing Donald Trump become the US president again would not be a disaster for Kiev, which would find a way to work with him, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has said.
Trump, who was president from 2017 to 2021, is running for the White House again against the incumbent President Joe Biden, a Democrat, who has unconditionally supported Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Many in Ukraine fear that Trump would stop US funding to Kiev if elected, Kuleba was told at an event in Kiev on Wednesday.
“I think, in principle, there is no need to worry,” the foreign minister replied. “Trump is a person you can work with; you just need to be able to work with him.”
Kuleba reminded the audience that it was Trump who sold the first US weapons to Ukraine – Javelin anti-tank missiles, specifically – donated American boats to Kiev’s navy, and opposed the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline by sanctioning a ship that participated in it.
Kuleba also claimed that Mike Pompeo, who led the CIA and the State Department under Trump, told him there was “a strong anti-Russian, anti-Putin consensus in the Republican Party’s DNA” and, therefore, there was nothing to worry about.
“If [Trump] gets to the polls and if he wins, he will be completely different from President Joe Biden, to whom we are extremely grateful for everything,” Kuleba said. “There are a lot of ‘ifs,’ but Ukraine should not fear anything, no elections and no current or future politicians,” Kuleba concluded.
Kuleba followed that up by noting that there have been legal challenges to keep Trump off the ballot in several states and said he was aware of discussions in the US among both Democrats and Republicans that the election might not be between Biden and Trump at all, though he did not elaborate.
Vivek Ramaswamy, one of Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, said on Wednesday that the US political establishment might be lining up behind Nikki Haley – another Republican primary candidate – as an alternative to both Trump and Biden.
According to the most recent Russian estimates, Ukraine has received over $203 billion in military and financial aid from the US and its allies since the conflict escalated in February 2022. In a CNN interview that aired on Wednesday, Kuleba said Kiev doesn’t have a “plan B” but is confident in the success of “plan A,” meaning indefinite support from the West.
January 04, 2024 at 11:27PM