Trump's memo a diplomatic car crash for Ukraine

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 27, 2019 - Duration: 02:18s

Trump's memo a diplomatic car crash for Ukraine

The released memo of his conversation with Donald Trump is deeply embarrassing for Ukraine's president.

Ukraine depends on U.S. aid, and many fear the last thing they need is for Volodymyr Zelenskiy to embroil them in Washington's intrigues.

Lucy Fielder reports.


Trump's memo a diplomatic car crash for Ukraine

While American politics is consumed by the contents of Donald Trump's private chat with Ukraine's president, now a matter of public record, it has also become a diplomatic car crash for Ukraine.

As well as fueled a domestic crisis there, too; a country that relies on U.S. support.

Because Volodymyr Zelenskiy was on the receiving end of the U.S. president's controversial requests, a memo of which the White House released on Wednesday.

And his side of the conversation paints him in a pretty unflattering light.

Zelenskiy's agreement to Trump's request to reopen a probe into a company that employed Joe Biden's son is likely to infuriate U.S. Democrats and shake the bipartisan support Kiev needs.

Some Ukrainians now fear their country could become "toxic" in Washington, as it is thrust center-stage in an official impeachment inquiry.

Even jeopardizing the U.S. military aid that Trump emphasized as he asked the favor.

Ukraine is locked in a geopolitical standoff with neighboring Russia, which has annexed the Crimea region and backed pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

And needs all the friends it can get.

Unfortunate, then, that Zelenskiy also appeared to have a go at German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Even though Ukraine currently relies on European countries like France and Germany to breathe life into a stalled peace process.

Awkward timing for his complaint that they weren't doing enough to enforce sanctions on Russia.

Zelenskiy also agreed with Trump when he stuck the boot into the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and called her -- quote -- "a bad ambassador".

The comedian-turned-leader comes out as eager to ingratiate himself with Trump.

Also volunteering that he stayed at Trump Tower last time he swung by New York.

Zelenskiy has admitted he didn't think his side of the call would be published, and tried to smooth things over with France and Germany.

Some Ukrainians fear the only winner in all this is Russia's Vladimir Putin.

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