Zelenskiy Didn't Talk Quid Pro Quo With Trump

One of President Trump's cited reasons for withholding security aid to Ukraine was concern about corruption.

While he denied there was any quid pro quo associated with the withheld aid, Zelensky called out the US for keeping aid from a country actively at war with Russian Federation.

"This is a hard signal", Zelensky said. The White House froze almost $300 million in security aid to Ukraine about two weeks before Trump spoke with Zelensky and asked for "a favor" in the form of those two investigations.

"I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a new interview to media outlets, and President Donald Trump is using it to declare innocence amid the impeachment inquiry.

He said there should first be a prisoner exchange within a "reasonable time period", followed by a genuine ceasefire and the retreat of all armed forces to allow local elections to be held in the region.

"For me it's very important for the United States, with all they can do for us, for them really to understand that we are a different country, that we are different people".

Manafort, a long-time Republican political consultant who is now serving a prison sentence after being convicted of fraud and witness tampering, had worked in Ukraine for a previous Russia-friendly president, Viktor Yanukovich.

Current and former US officials have testified Giuliani carried out a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine, and led efforts to get Zelenskiy to announce investigations into Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 USA election. I think that's just about fairness. He presses Ukraine for investigations into Democrats as US aid to Ukraine is withheld. "We're at war. If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us", he was quoted by Time magazine as saying.

Giuliani and other Trump allies say Ukrainians forged a record of millions of dollars in payments - known as the "black ledger" - to Manafort from Yanukovich's associates.

But when asked whether he trusts Putin when it comes to peace talks, Zelenskiy says he doesn't trust anyone "at all".

Trump and his aides have presented no evidence of corruption by the Bidens in Ukraine.

"When America says, for instance, that Ukraine is a corrupt country, that is the hardest of signals", he said. It might seem like an easy thing to say, that combination of words: Ukraine is a corrupt country. "I had the sense that he heard me", he said. "But that signal from them is very important", Zelensky explained.

"All branches of government were corrupted over many years", he said.