Former US President Donald Trump has declined an invitation from Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky to visit Kiev, stating that it would be inappropriate to do so while the Biden administration is handling relations with Ukraine. Trump expressed his respect for President Zelensky but emphasized the need to avoid any conflict of interest.
Zelensky extended the invitation during an interview with NBC News, aiming to prove to Trump why the ex-president’s assertion of resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict within 24 hours was incorrect. Trump had previously stated on Fox News that if he were to win the presidency in 2024, he would swiftly end the crisis by pressuring Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate a peace deal.
The Biden administration has sought congressional approval for an additional $61.4 billion in funding for Ukraine as part of an emergency security bill totaling $106 billion. Earlier rounds of legislation have already granted Ukraine $113 billion in aid. Zelensky’s invitation to Trump may be seen as a political maneuver, considering that Trump currently leads opinion polls as the frontrunner for the 2024 presidential race and is widening his lead in a hypothetical rematch against Biden.
Zelensky expressed his willingness to welcome Trump to Ukraine, believing that an in-person discussion could highlight the complexities of the war and the limitations of the former president’s approach. He stated that he could explain this to Trump in just 24 minutes, emphasizing that the former president would not be able to bring peace due to Putin’s involvement.
It is worth noting that Trump has claimed to have good relationships with both Zelensky and Putin, alleging that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would not have occurred if Biden had not allegedly “stolen” the 2020 election. Ironically, Trump faced impeachment in December 2019 for allegedly pressuring Zelensky to investigate potential corruption involving Biden’s family in Ukraine.
Recent polling by the New York Times and Siena College indicates that Trump is leading Biden in five of the six critical swing states that will play a significant role in deciding the outcome of the 2024 election. The poll reveals that Trump is favored over Biden by a margin of four to 11 percentage points in these states, with Biden leading by only two points in the remaining swing state, Wisconsin.
In summary, former President Donald Trump has turned down Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky’s invitation to visit Ukraine, citing the ongoing relations between Biden’s administration and Kiev. Zelensky’s invitation appears to be a strategic move in light of Trump’s strong position as a potential Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential race.