Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s popular comedian-turned-president, has promised to introduce a new and fresh perspective on politics to his country, AFP reported on Thursday, October 10th.
Early Thursday he spoke at a press conference for 12 consecutive hours, the longest any politician had stayed at a press conference since Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, who had spoken for seven hours at a press conference, according to Ukrainian media.
The 41-year-old president denied that President Trump tried to pressure him during a July phone call, saying at an all-day “press marathon” in Ukraine’s capital on Thursday, October 10th, “There was no blackmail.”
During the press conference, the Ukrainian president said he was not aware of the aid suspension before his call with Trump in July and that he subsequently raised the idea of meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in Warsaw last September.
“I told [Pence] that this is impossible. Please do something about this,” Zelenksy recounted on Thursday, October 10th. “After the meeting, America unblocked it.”
He asserted that the call with Trump was to pave the way for a still-hoped-for White House summit, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The press conference took place at a trendy food court in central Kiev, where a number of local and international journalists joined Zelensky around a table to pose questions in shifts.
The Ukrainian president elaborated longer on key topics, such as the war in eastern Ukraine, relations with Russia, and his phone call with Trump, according to AFP.