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Ukraine leader says he didn't discuss 'quid pro quo' with Trump

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy insisted again in a new interview that there was no quid pro quo with the Trump administration, although he added that strategic partners such as the USA and Ukraine should not hold back anything from each other.

President Trump is very likely going to be impeached by the House of Representatives for an alleged abuse of power, standing accused of withholding military aid from Ukraine to pressure Zelensky into opening and/or publicly announcing investigations into the Ukrainian business dealings of Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, while Joe was vice president. It was one at the end of the interview, when Zelensky was asked the $300-million question: "When did you first sense that there was a connection between Trump's decision to block military aid to Ukraine this summer and the two investigations that Trump and his allies were asking for?"

"I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo", Zelensky said. That's not my thing.

"First off, I would never want Ukraine to be a piece on the map, on the chess board of big global players, so that someone could toss us around, use us as cover, as part of some bargain..."

House Democrats are conducting an impeachment probe of Trump in regards to his holding back US military aid to Ukraine over the summer.

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In the interview, Zelenskiy told reporters that while Trump's former special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker "tried hard" and had "a lot of success" in peace talks with Russia, Ukraine still requires support from the U.S.

Ukraine has been fighting Russia-backed separatists in the country's eastern region since 2014, and in the same year Russian Federation annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine by force.

Trump, however, has expressed concern with corruption in Ukraine over the past few weeks. Zelenskiy says, "That's not my thing. As for the United States, I would really want - and we feel this, it's true - for them to help us, to understand us, to see that we are a player in our own right, that they can not make deals about us with anyone behind our backs", he said. Everyone hears that signal. On Monday, the President wrote that Zelensky's interview exonerated him. "But that signal from them is very important", Zelensky explained. "These are important things, very important things, especially right now, when we are in such a hard position".

Corrupt actors exist in governments all over the world, Zelensky argued.

Manafort, a long-time Republican political consultant who is now serving a prison sentence after being convicted of fraud and witness tampering, had worked in Ukraine for a previous Russia-friendly president, Viktor Yanukovich. Trump made his point by saying "all you have to do is look at the words of the Ukrainian president".



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