Officials in Ukraine are growing increasingly frustrated with President Donald Trump continuing to prioritize Russia over the American ally, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday.
“People working closely with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have been in contact with Trump administration officials over the past several weeks discussing the relationship between the two presidents, according to four people with knowledge of the talks. Based on those conversations, Ukrainian officials came to expect that Trump would make a statement of support before Zelensky met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in France for peace talks,” The Beast explained. “But as Saturday and Sunday ticked by, there was only silence from the White House. Even as Ukrainian officials have publicly been loath to criticize Trump’s pressure campaign on their country, frustrations with Washington have quietly percolated. And last weekend, they were especially acute.”
“Words of support from the United States in the lead-up to the Normandy talks could have given the Ukrainian president more leverage with Putin, according to the Zelensky administration official and two additional people close to his administration. Instead, Trump spent the weekend on Twitter tweeting about Fox News pundits, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and CNN. It was a particularly busy weekend of social media for him, with more than 100 tweets and retweets by Politico’s count. But no word on Normandy,” The Beast noted.
Instead, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was welcomed to the White House on Tuesday.
“Ukrainians say they view the coupling of Trump’s pre-Normandy silence and the administration’s decision to welcome Lavrov as a signal in an of itself—and not a good one,” The Beast noted.
This could result in a change of posture from Ukraine.
“Zelensky administration officials are now reconsidering their strategy on communication with and about the Trump administration, the official said. Thus far, Zelensky administration officials have stayed in line with the Trump administration’s narrative on Giuliani’s Ukraine activity and the focuses of the impeachment inquiry. But they say they have little to show for it, and may take a different public relations strategy in the future,” The Beast reported.
Read the full report.