KYIV, May 13 – President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy will seek to solve “misunderstanding” in relations with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to secure strong support for Ukraine, top campaign official said Monday.
The comment from Dmytro Razumkov, Zelenskiy’s top policy advisor, comes days after Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had scheduled - and then cancelled - a controversial trip to Ukraine.
"The fact that Rudolph Giuliani has been planning to come [to Ukraine] Zelenskiy has learned from the media, and the fact that he’s now not coming, [Zelenskiy] has also learned from the media,” Razumkov said.
Giuliani wanted Kyiv to examine claims that Democratic former US vice-president Joe Biden – who plans to run against Trump in 2020 – pressed Kyiv to quash an investigation into Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, where his son Hunter Biden was a director.
Giuliani on Friday has scrapped the trip, however, saying he would be “walking into a group of people that are enemies of the [US] president . . . in some cases enemies of the United States” – troubling comments for a nation that relies on Washington’s support to counter Russian aggression.
Zelenskiy’s team is eager to change that perception, and to reaffirm Washington that Ukraine remains a strong ally, but will seek to stay away from meddling in the U.S. politics.
“Let’s hope this misunderstanding will be lifted in relations between the Zelenskiy team and the U.S. representatives,” Razumkov said.
“Zelenskiy is ready to hold meetings not only with official representatives of the U.S., but also to meet representatives of political forces or non-political forces who will be interested in further deepening the relations between the countries that are helping us in the struggle for our independence,” Razumkov said.
Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainain lawmaker and an anti-corruption crusader, accused Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko of misleading Giuliani about the Burisma investigation. He said Lutsenko has been trying to secure support from Washington ahead of upcoming reshuffle and his dismissal following the inauguration of Zelenskiy to the presidency. (tl/ez)