Ukrainian President Makes Statement, Says President Trump Did Not Blackmail Him


In the first criminal charges related to the Ukraine controversy, U.S. prosecutors have announce a campaign finance case against two businessmen tied to efforts by President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to prod Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Ukrainian President is holding an all-day "media marathon" in a Kyiv food court amid growing questions about his actions as president. "This was not the subject of our conversation", Zelenskiy said.

Mr Zelensky said he had never met them.

Mr Zelensky told reporters his aim in having a phone call with Mr Trump was to arrange a subsequent meeting and that he had asked the White House to change its rhetoric on Ukraine.

He flipped from Ukrainian to English and Russian.

Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry in Congress believe Trump held up the aid to use it as leverage to pressure Ukraine and advance his domestic political interests. Joe Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election.

Ukraine's top prosecutor last week said his office would review several cases related to the owner of the gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the board, and Zelenskiy on Thursday invited US and Ukrainian prosecutors to cooperate, but insisted he would not interfere.

Zelenskiy told the October 10 news conference that he didn't think there were any conditions attached to him meeting Trump, including launching an investigation involving the Bidens. This real-time concern by officials in the White House directly contradicts Trump's repeated claim that the call was considered "perfect", and precede by more than two weeks the whistleblower's official complaint.

A TV and film comedian, Zelenskiy overwhelmingly won the presidency in April on promises to fight corruption and end the five-year conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. None of the previous investigations apply to the period when Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma's board.

They have alleged that Trump tried to use U.S. aid to Ukraine as leverage in an attempt to pressurise Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trump's main Democratic rivals in the 2020 elections.

"I had no idea the military aid was held up".