Former President Donald Trump has shed light on the conversation he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he claims was aimed at deterring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a recent interview with Fox News, Trump shared that he warned Putin about the catastrophic consequences of such an invasion and assured him that there would be severe repercussions.
“I told him, ‘If you do it, there’s going to be hell to pay. It’s going to be a catastrophe. Don’t do it,'” Trump recounted during the interview. He added that Putin expressed disbelief that Trump would take any action, to which Trump responded, “I will, Vladimir. I will do it. I’m going to do it.”
Trump’s comments came in response to a question about how he would end the Russia-Ukraine war, which erupted in February 2022. He stated that he could have a deal done within 24 hours, and he would communicate his intentions to both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Putin.
The former president also emphasized his belief that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if he were still in office. “He wouldn’t have done it if it were me. He did it after I left,” Trump said.
Meanwhile, Zelenskyy has publicly criticized some GOP candidates who have expressed reluctance to provide military aid to Ukraine. In response to Trump’s comments and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s characterization of the war as a territorial dispute, Zelenskyy questioned their readiness to go to war and send their children to fight.
“If any candidate thinks supporting Ukraine is too costly, are they ready to go to war? Are they ready to fight? Send their children, die?” Zelenskyy asked. He warned that if Ukraine fails and Russia occupies them, they will move on to the Baltics or Poland or some other NATO country, and then the U.S. will have to choose between keeping NATO or entering the war.
Zelenskyy also criticized Trump for not ending the war in Ukraine during his presidency. “Why didn’t he do that earlier? He was president when the war was going on here,” Zelenskyy said, seemingly referring to the territorial skirmishes between Ukraine’s forces and Russian loyalists in the Donbas region. “I think he couldn’t do that. I think there are no people today in the world who could just have a word with Putin and end the war,” he added.
This story continues to develop as the world watches the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.