World

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Defends Trump Talk: ‘No Pressure’

Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said Saturday that President Donald Trump did not exert any pressure on his Ukrainian counterpart in a telephone call that has become the subject of media reports.

Prystaiko reportedly noted that “leaders have the right to discuss any problems that exist.”

The conversation has produced a purported White House intelligence agent whistleblower and reports that Trump tried to force Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and Hillary Clinton’s allegation that Trump asked the Ukrainians to interfere in the 2020 elections. The former secretary of state tweeted Friday: “The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again.”

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivers a speech during a parliamentary session in Kiev, Ukraine August 29, 2019. Picture taken August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivers a speech during a parliamentary session in Kiev, Ukraine August 29, 2019. Picture taken August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/

“I know what the conversation was about and I think there was no pressure,” Prystaiko told Hromadske. “There was talk, conversations are different, leaders have the right to discuss any problems that exist. This conversation was long, friendly, and it touched on many questions, sometimes requiring serious answers.”  (RELATED: Mystery Whistleblower Complaint Involves Trump Phone Call With Foreign Leader)

Trump was quick to tweet his approval of the Prystaiko’s comments, agreeing that his conversation with the Ukrainian president was “long, friendly, and it touched on many questions.”

Zelensky and Trump are scheduled to meet as planned at the United Nations General Assembly next week.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is adamant that Democratic presidential front-runner Biden interfered in Ukraine to ensure son Hunter Biden’s business affairs were not subject to investigation. (RELATED: Trump Calls Whistleblower ‘Highly Partisan,’ Denies Wrongdoing)

“President Trump is interested, his advisor, Giuliani, newspapers, Democrats, Republicans are interested in whether pressure had been put on Ukraine,” Prystaiko told Hromadske. “I want to say that we are an independent state, we have our own secrets.”

A protester stands outside with a sign while U.S. President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, U.S., September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A protester stands outside with a sign while U.S. President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, U.S., September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

President Trump earlier on Saturday tweeted about the “Ukraine Witch Hunt,” which he says is designed to protect “Sleepy Joe Biden” from further questions about his activities as vice president. He predicted the efforts of the “Fake News Media … Will fail again!”