Zelensky denies Trump tried to blackmail him

  • 14:43 10 October 2019

Zelensky denies Trump tried to blackmail him

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky says that he did not feel any pressure regarding arms supplies to Ukraine and investigation into Burisma company during phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, ONA reports citing Ukrinform.

"Our phone conversation bears no relation to arms and situation around Burisma company. There was no blackmail because that was not the subject of our conversation," Zelensky said during a press marathon at the Kyiv Food Market on Thursday

Zelensky noted that he had aimed to revive the "worn out relations" between Ukraine and the USA during the telephone conversation with Trump. According to him, the reason for that was the issue what Ukraine was spending the American assistance on, which "came from all sources, not only President Trump made it known."

"That conversation influenced only one thing: we need to get a meeting. We are bound to meet with [U.S.] President, I want to show him our young team... When I understood that he would not come to Warsaw, I realized that we needed to meet in New York. We had a very good meeting. I told him: ‘Look at us. Do we look like corrupt officials? I ask you very much, Mr. President, please change this image in your rhetoric and the White House rhetoric.’ He said: ‘It has nothing to do with you. It's about the former authorities.’ I said: ‘I am the President of Ukraine, so when you say that there has always been a corrupt story there, it concerns each of us, every Ukrainian who has never had anything to do with corruption.’ We met and I devoted some time to prove that to him. That’s why we had a great meeting,” the President of Ukraine explained.

He acknowledged that the United States had blocked the provision of military assistance to Ukraine prior to his telephone conversation with Donald Trump but stressed that the issue had not been discussed during the conversation.

"I raised the issue at a meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence [in Warsaw]. I asked to influence that decision. The meeting was substantive and great, and the US unlocked [provision of military aid] and added another 140 million after our meeting," Zelensky summarized.