Zelenskyy Extends Invitation to Trump for a Visit to Ukraine, Following His Pledge to Resolve the Russia-Ukraine Conflict in 24 Hours

During his appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered an invitation to former President Donald Trump, encouraging him to visit Ukraine. This came in response to Trump’s commitment, as the leading figure in the GOP, to swiftly resolve the conflict in Ukraine if he were to be reelected.

“I invite President Trump. If he can come here, I will need … 24 minutes to explain to President Trump that he can’t manage this war,” Zelenskyy said. “He can’t bring peace because of Putin.”

“He’s very welcome,” Zelenskyy added, but didn’t answer host Kristen Welker’s question as to whether or not Trump would “have Ukraine’s back” if reelected in 2024.

Zelenskyy also reacted to recent reporting by NBC News, which alleged that the United States and European officials have quietly begun talks around Russia-Ukraine peace negotiations, saying he is not ready to begin that dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying, “We can’t trust terrorists because terrorists always come back.”

Zelenskyy warned that in the absence of increased support for Ukraine, the United States might find itself drawn into a broader European conflict, as he stated, “If Russia were to escalate further, attacking not only us but also NATO countries, it could lead to American involvement, sending your sons and daughters into the fray.”

These remarks echo his earlier statements, which had generated considerable criticism from the American public. On one occasion, he made references to historical events like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, and on another, he argued that America’s global leadership would be at stake if support for Ukraine diminished.

“If they don’t support Ukraine, they will lose NATO … and they will lose their leadership position in the world,” he told Congress in February.

President Biden has recently urged Congress to back a $106 billion supplemental spending bill, which includes approximately $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $14.4 billion for Israel, $13.6 billion for border security along the U.S.-Mexico border, and roughly $10 billion for humanitarian aid.

On the other hand, House Republicans, led by new Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), passed a spending proposal that supports $14.3 billion in aid for Israel while simultaneously reducing funding for the IRS.

However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has declined to bring this bill to a vote in the upper chamber, and President Biden has even threatened to veto it.

When asked about his sentiments, President Zelenskyy expressed that he feels resolute and strong, but emphasized that they do not wish to engage in a perpetual state of conflict.

“The price is high, like I said,” he said. “But we are not ready to give our freedom to this f—ing terrorist Putin. That’s it. That’s why we are fighting.”

Zelenskyy also rejected the notion that the war has reached a stalemate, saying, “I don’t think that this is a stalemate. … We have done a lot. We had a very difficult situation. They thought that they would checkmate us, but this didn’t happen.”

Zelenskyy’s remarks follow closely on the heels of a recent Time magazine profile that suggested some of his advisors were growing increasingly worried about his reluctance to pursue a peace settlement.

“Despite the recent setbacks on the battlefield, he does not intend to give up fighting or to sue for any kind of peace. On the contrary, his belief in Ukraine’s ultimate victory over Russia has hardened into a form that worries some of his advisers. It is immovable, verging on the messianic,” the report read. “‘He deludes himself,’ one of his closest aides tells me in frustration. ‘We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.’”