EU-Ukraine Association Council: How will Europe support Ukraine?
Ukraine tries to minimize damage to relations with the European Union
Transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky puts Kiev in an awkward position
LONDON – Ukrainian diplomats seek to minimize damage to relations with Europe as a result of the unexpected release of a transcript of a telephone conversation between President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and US Leader Donald Trump on July 25.
On Wednesday, the White House released the contents of the conversation in an attempt to justify Trump, whom Democrats are trying to impeach over a whistleblower complaint that Trump has called on Zelenskiy to open an investigation into Joe Biden, the leading Democratic presidential candidate..
After reading the transcript of the conversation, the former Ukrainian ambassador to the European Union, Konstantin Eliseev, tweeted that Zelenskiy’s words are an example of how one politically motivated and flattering phrase can “erase years of hard work to build personal trust and partnership with Berlin, Paris and the EU”.
He was referring to Zelenskiy’s response to Trump’s comment, which criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders for providing little financial aid to Ukraine..
“You are absolutely right, not 100, but 1000 percent,” Zelensky agreed.
Eliseev, who represented Ukraine in Brussels from 2010 to 2015 and later served as a diplomatic adviser to former President Petro Poroshenko, wrote: “Berlin, and above all Merkel personally, as well as Paris, have played a key role in maintaining a strong EU economy and the adoption of sanctions against Russia “.
British political scientist James Sherr, now at the Estonian Institute of International Politics, called Zelenskiy’s comments about his French and German counterparts “harmful” and “unfair”, especially in relation to Germany..
However, according to some observers, leaders in Berlin, Brussels and Paris may understand the difficult circumstances in which Zelenskiy found himself in a conversation with Trump..
As follows from the decryption, Zelensky expressed interest in purchasing American Javelin anti-tank missiles with funds from the annually allocated military aid from the United States..
“President Zelenskiy was put in a very difficult position,” said former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst. – One gets the impression that there is an interest of one side or one person in Zelensky conducting an investigation into another political figure. One gets the impression that our President insists on the need for this investigation in order to improve US-Ukrainian relations and to provide assistance. “.
“On the other hand, if Zelenskiy moved in this direction, he would no doubt have problems with the Democrats,” Herbst added. – So it would be much better if inter-party disputes did not affect Ukraine. Ukraine did not ask to play a role in this “.
In response to Trump’s claims that EU members are not providing enough assistance to Ukraine, EU officials point to documents reflecting their contributions.
In a statement on the Poynter Institute’s Politifact website, EU spokeswoman Maya Kosyanchich called the bloc’s financial aid to Ukraine “the largest aid package in the history of the European Union.”.
Among the allocated amounts are grants for $ 2.1 billion, almost 54 million for monitoring the ceasefire regime in the east of the country and about 3.8 billion in loans for the development and restoration of banks, agriculture and the transit sector..
US Says It Provided $ 1.5 Billion In Military Aid To Ukraine Since 2014.