Feb 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ukrainian president says he's "ready for next call" with Trump

In this image, Zelensky and Trump sit across from each other.

Trump and Zelensky on Sept. 25. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN on Saturday that he's "ready for [the] next call with Mr. Trump" if working with the U.S. and the president will help his country.

Why it matters: The July 25 call between Zelensky and Trump led House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry, after a whistleblower complaint from the intelligence community alleged that Trump "sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President's 2020 reelection bid."

Flashback: In December, Zelensky publicly pushed back on Trump for withholding military aid last summer while his country was at war with Russia.

  • Trump confirmed that he withheld almost $400 million in aid.
  • Democrats sought to charge the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over accusations that he withheld that aid to solicit election interference from a foreign country.
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said earlier this month that he believed Trump withheld aid to Ukraine to "encourage" its government to investigate the former Vice President Joe Biden and his family. He voted to acquit Trump because he believed any consequences for the president's actions should be decided in the next election.

What to watch: Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters in December that his country was still working to schedule a White House meeting for Zelensky.

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