Tuesday, 04 August, 2020

Ukrainian president slams Trump decision to delay military aid

Ukrainian president slams Trump decision to delay military aid Ukrainian president slams Trump decision to delay military aid
Deanna Wagner | 04 December, 2019, 20:15

The Ukrainegate is under way in the US over a July 25 telephone conversation between Trump and Zelensky.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a newly-released interview that he never discussed "quid pro quo" with President Donald Trump, once again denying any link between the release of US military aid in exchange for investigations.

The key issue is whether Trump set up a "quid pro quo" - Latin for seeking one action in exchange for another - with Zelensky by holding back promised United States military aid for Ukraine until the Bidens were investigated. But you have to understand that we are at war, said Zelensky edition. "If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us". It's about fairness for me. House investigators in the impeachment inquiry have zeroed in on the issue of whether this matter amounted to a quid pro quo or bribery. "It just goes without saying", he added.

The U.S. officials who have testified so far in the impeachment probe have rejected that theory. White House officials including the U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifying that the aid was conditional on Ukraine helping Trump investigate Biden's son. Instead, he said, he had been pressing for a broad anti-corruption crackdown in Ukraine. He frequently says he sent Ukraine "bunker busters" (missiles) while Obama only gave them blankets. "Just to say it and that's it". "Everyone hears that signal", he continued. "As for the United States, I would really want - and we feel this, it's true - for them to help us, to understand, to see that we are a player in our own right, that they can not make deals about us with anyone behind our backs". It's not that those things don't exist.

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"Are we going to be sending massive amounts of money to a country and they're corrupt and they steal the money and that goes into everybody's bank account?"

Asked about the USA role in this peace process, Zelensky stressed the importance of US support for Ukraine. Trump has offered an inconsistent series of defenses as to why he froze the roughly $400 million in security assistance, fluctuating between alleged concerns over corruption to misleading claims that European countries haven't done much to support Ukraine.

"First off, I would never want Ukraine to be a piece on the map, on the chess board of big global players, so that someone could toss us around, use us as cover, as part of some bargain..."

"I saw no evidence from our intelligence community, nor from the representatives today from the Department of State, that there is any evidence of any kind that suggests that Ukraine interfered in our elections", Romney, R-Utah, told reporters.