In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnky said that though his country was prepared for a much-anticipated counteroffensive against Russia, he has expressed worry about a potential change of presidency in the US, which could mean less financial support for his cause. He also noted that China should make an effort to rein in Russia.
Zelensky noted that he was worried about the results of the upcoming presidential election in the US, which could result in receiving significantly less funding for the war. The Republican frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, has already made known that he would not be supporting the war in Ukraine.
During a recent Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity, Trump explained that the war in Ukraine should never have happened, and that if he wins the presidency, he would sit Zelensky and Putin in a room together and say, “Number one, you tell one, ‘You’re not gonna get anything unless you make a deal.’”
“You tell the other one, ‘They’re gonna get a lot. Unless you make a deal,’ and you just sit ‘em and you put ‘em in and you have to make the determination. And with, I’m telling you, within 24 hours, that whole thing will be settled. It’ll be settled.”
Zelensky has also called on NATO to formulate a path for Ukraine to be brought into the fold, but there is currently no way for the Eastern European country to become a member of the organization. If Ukraine were to become a member while they are still in a war with Russia, it would trigger Article 5, which would put all NATO countries in a war with one of the most dangerous nuclear powers in the world.
Though Zelensky and Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke over the phone at the end of April, it does not appear that much has come of it. Zelensky had characterized the talk as a “long and meaningful one,” but there was no mention of Russia in the exchange. Xi has consistently expressed his desire to maintain a campaign of “peace and talks” with various nations, but he has not condemned Putin’s actions since the outbreak of the conflict.
It is unclear what makes Zelensky suppose that China would try to dissuade Russia from further military action in Ukraine. Beijing has also been in the midst of rising tensions with various Western countries, such as Canada and the US. Most recently, it was discovered that China had been taking advantage of open-source data gathering on the Pentagon, which they could potentially use in future military conflict.
Despite the future of Ukraine’s geopolitical relationship with the US, it appears that Zelensky intends to carry out a massive counteroffensive, saying: “We strongly believe that we will succeed.” He went on to say that he does not know “how long it will take,” adding that if he were “honest, it can go a variety of ways, completely different. But we are going to do it, and we are ready.”
Zelensky has conceded that Russia’s air power is superior to his, noting that if he does not receive more support, “a large number of soldiers will die” during the counter-offensive. However, Ukraine’s Western allies have provided billions of dollars of support in the war.According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the US alone has provided Ukraine with $75 billion in the war effort, which includes financial, humanitarian, and military support.