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Ukraine does not want to be involved in the USA pre-election internal party struggle

The official three-day visit of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky to the USA came to the end. Speech from the UN rostrum, a rich program of meetings with the strongest of this world and, above all, with U.S. President, Donald Trump. Actually, the latter would have aroused the greatest interest of the international media, and because of the publication of the text of a telephone conversation between the presidents of the United States and Ukraine, which became the reason for the impeachment of the White House owner - all the more.[1]

On September 25, 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky at the UN General Assembly called on the world community to support Ukraine, which is suffering from the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict in the Donbas. "The end of the war and the return of peace is my task, but not at the cost of the lives of our citizens. That is why we need global support, " the Ukrainian President said. "No one can feel safe when there is a war in Ukraine, when there is a war in Europe." According to him, the war is not as far away as it may seem. "Its methods, technology and weapons have led to the fact that our planet is not so great. Today, the time I spent on the last paragraph is enough to destroy the Earth. Every leader is responsible for the fate of the world." "A strong leader is not the one, who without batting an eyelid, sends thousands of soldiers to death. "A strong leader is the one, who everyone's life," the Ukrainian President said. According to him, Ukraine has always demonstrated its readiness to ensure peace in any way. "And took steps towards international security, for example, when gave up the nuclear potential, which at that time was greater than in France, Britain and China combined. It seemed to us that we were building another new world, in which, it is not necessary to have nuclear weapons so that your thoughts can be heard and considered, " Zelensky said. "Finally, in this new world, our state has lost part of its territory and almost daily loses its citizens", he said and added that this is why Ukraine stresses the need to change world rules. "It should be recognized that the mechanism is exceptionable, mechanisms begin to fail, and therefore need to be updated", Volodymyr Zelensky said.[2]

On the same day, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky held the first talks with U.S. President, Donald Trump at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. The presidents spoke in front of journalists and moved on to talks behind closed doors. According to the results of the negotiations Zelensky spoke to journalists. On the war in the Donbas and the seizure of Ukrainian territories, Trump began by voicing his hopes that Zelensky and Putin will be able to "solve the problem" regarding Ukraine. "I really believe that President Putin would like to do something. I really hope that you and President Putin will meet and be able to solve the problem. It will be a great achievement, and I know that you are trying to do it, " the head of the White House said.

Zelensky, in turn, stressed that only joint efforts of the USA and the EU can help Ukraine stop the war in the Donbas. "We have two wars in Ukraine. The first is corruption, which we will fight, and we will be the winners in this fight. My priority is to stop the war in Donbas and return our territories - Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk. Thank you for your support in this case, " the head of state stressed. Zelensky also said that Trump during the meeting promised to help him to return of the annexed Crimea. Zelensky also discussed with U.S. President, Donald Trump the issue of energy security of Ukraine. In the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war, President Zelensky desperately needed support from the United States. He stated this directly and frankly from the rostrum of the UN. To do this he needed a meeting with U.S. President, Donald Trump.

Donald Trump was engaged in other interests: how to win the next presidential election and restore strategic partnership with Russia, while securing the support of Vladimir Putin.

In this regard Ukraine became interesting for Donald Trump. Firstly, to use Ukraine as a ram in compromising his rival in the presidential election Joe Biden, untwisting the participation of his son in the scandalous Ukrainian company "Burisma". Secondly, to remove the "Ukrainian problem" from Russian-American relations which hindered Donald Trump's rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. Not by chance at a press conference Tramp almost hinted Zelensky to agree with Vladimir Putin, that is, to accept his terms: "I really believe that President Putin would like to do something. I really hope that you and President Putin will meet and be able to solve the problem" Donald Trump repeated. As it turned out later such terms was the implementation of the "Steinmeier formula".

In addition, the Trump team was tempted to blame Ukraine for Russia's interference in the presidential election in the United States in favor of Trump in 2016, citing the hacked server of Hillary Clinton and her sympathy to the Ukrainian leadership under the leadership of President, Petro Poroshenko. The broadcast by the Ukrainian side of dirt on Paul Manafort, the head of campaign headquarter of Trump, from the Prosecutor Miller Commission to investigate Russia's interference in the USA presidential election, forced Donald Trump to make sure in it.

This step led to a cooling of relations between the administration of Trump and Poroshenko. To correct this miscalculation and restore confidence on the part of President Trump, President Poroshenko together with Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko pulled out other dirt on the son of Joe Biden, whose history is connected with the Ukrainian "Burisma". Thus, they laid a time bomb under the relations of Ukraine and the United States, which exploded during the visit of President Zelensky to the United States.

Therefore, hoping to reset relations of Ukraine with the USA,  Zelensky actually found himself on a "minefield" set up by the policy of the previous President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. But Volodymyr Zelensky's attempts to meet with Donald Trump as soon as possible encountered serious obstacles, which became clear from the explanations of the US Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker. Volker acknowledged that the Trump administration sent Zelensky an invitation shortly after his election in the spring and that it was subsequently withdrawn. According to sources familiar with the details of his testimony, Volcker told congressmen that the delay in arranging Trump's meeting with Zelensky and the decision to suspend military assistance deeply troubled Ukrainian officials, who believe that Washington is an important ally in confronting Russia.[3] U.S. Chargé d'Affaires for Ukraine, William Taylor was also concerned: "Are military assistance and a meeting in the White House tied to investigations?", he wrote to Sondland on September 1, after Trump canceled a visit to Poland, where Zelensky was supposed to come[4].

Thus, Trump never sought a meeting. And since the United States did not want to organize a meeting for Zelensky with Trump, the White House, judging from the correspondence of administration officials, put forward more and more demands. His officials used the possible meeting as a means of pressure to get the Ukrainians to promise to investigate the U.S. election in 2016 and the energy company where the son of Democratic candidate Joe Biden worked.[5]  This fact was the formal reason for the launch of the process of hearings on the impeachment of President, Donald Trump in the House of Representatives. The pressure was, as can be seen, to force Kyiv to assist Trump in the fight against his political opponents, Democrats, in particular, the former Vice President, and now one of the candidates for the nomination for President, Joe Biden. In addition to the "Biden case," Trump also apparently wanted to revive the theory of Ukraine's alleged interference in the 2016 election.

The meeting between Presidents Trump and Zelensky in New York became the apogee of the development of this drama in its relation to the Ukrainian-American relations. Realizing that Ukraine against the will was involved in a sharp intra-American scandal, Zelensky said that U.S. President, Donald Trump did not press on him during  telephone conversation that took place on July 25, about the investigation, which involves Hunter, son of the former Vice President, Joseph Biden. "You heard, I consider a good phone conversation that was normal. We talked about a lot of things. I think you read it... no one put pressure on me," Zelensky said. He also said that he did not promise to investigate any specific cases by the Prosecutor General's office of Ukraine.[6]

In this meeting, it was important for Trump to show that everything is fine, nothing special is happening and that Volodymyr Zelensky would said that there was no allegedly pressure. It was important for Kyiv to demonstrate that this scandal does not mean the rupture of bilateral relations. Both presidents had to show that the dialogue is continuing, albeit under such extraordinary circumstances.

Consequences for Ukraine. Clearly, President Zelensky ended up in a difficult position. Without having agreed with Kyiv, Washington released a recording of the conversation on July 25. This is quite an unprecedented phenomenon. In that conversation, you can see certain sorrows in what the President of Ukraine said. But it is clear that the Ukrainian President tried to adapt to the unusual type of his interlocutor. It is necessary to perceive his part of the dialogue through this prism. Zelensky set a goal to continue cooperation with the United States, and therefore did everything possible for this.

In the short term, we cannot expect a crisis in bilateral relations between our countries. Ukraine is interested in continuing cooperation. Also, a large and influential part of the American establishment and government is interested in this. Our relationship is more than a relationship with Trump, it's a relationship with the country as a whole. President Trump will not dare to continue to pressure on Ukraine, at least not in public. After all, all eyes are on him now. Therefore, the "Ukrainian direction" will remain in good hands of those who consider support for Ukraine an important matter that meets American interests. But, of course, we still need to be careful and think carefully about our steps for the future. There was no catastrophe, but turbulence persists.[7] However, despite the tense situation Zelensky was able to withstand.


[3] Надані Волкером смс-листування чиновників свідчать, що Зеленський був потрібен трампу тільки для розслідування щодо Байденів.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.