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Trump could be ‘loser president’ - Zelensky

Donald Trump’s alleged plans to end the conflict with Russia could cost the US its global standing, the Ukrainian leader has said.

Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky has warned Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump that he could become a “loser president” if he insists on a peace deal with Russia involving territorial concessions from Kiev.

 

Trump has boasted that he will be able to end the Ukraine conflict within 24 hours by brokering a peace deal if he is reelected later this year. According to a report last month by the Washington Post which cited Trump campaign insiders, his strategy for achieving this involves pressuring Kiev into relinquishing its claims to Crimea and Donbass and recognizing them as parts of Russia.

 

Asked by The Guardian to comment on Trump’s supposed plan in an interview published on Friday, Zelensky warned that this strategy could have dire consequences for America and Trump personally.

 

“Does he want to be a loser president later? Let’s imagine what happens if Trump becomes president and decides to end the war at the expense of Ukraine… Let’s imagine that after this Putin will go further – then this new US president will be seen as weak, and this does not speak merely of his personality, but of the US government, they will be perceived as weak,” Zelensky said.

 

He added that by forcing Ukraine to abandon its territorial claims, the US would lose international influence and allow “Putin to move forward, realizing that the US is no longer a strong player.”

 

“Then other authoritarian leaders will enter the arena. And this will be the beginning of exactly what everyone is so afraid of – the third World War,” Zelensky claimed.

 

Trump has never officially detailed his peace plan for Ukraine, but has said that he personally knows both Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin and can make them agree to a ceasefire if he can get them to the negotiating table.

 

In 2022, the Ukrainian leader signed a law banning peace talks with Russia as long as Putin remains in power. According to Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’ presented that year, negotiations also cannot be held unless Russian forces withdraw from territories that Kiev claims as its own and Russia’s leadership faces an international tribunal for alleged war crimes.

 

Russia has long said that it is open to a political solution to the conflict, but considers Zelensky’s plan unrealistic. It is expected that the Ukrainian leader’s suggestions will be the focus of the upcoming ‘peace summit’ in Switzerland in mid-June, which Russia has not been invited to attend. Moscow has said it will not attend the event even if it receives an invitation, arguing that it is unlikely to bring about any viable suggestions for ending the conflict.

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