Over the weekend, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy extended an invitation to former President Donald Trump to visit Ukraine and witness the ongoing war’s realities. The invitation came on national television and was made in response to Trump’s assertion that he could end the conflict in Ukraine within 24 hours if re-elected.
According to Newsmax, Trump has now declined the invitation, citing concerns over creating a conflict of interest with the current Biden administration’s dealings with Ukraine.
In an interview with NBC, Zelenskyy was asked by host Kristen Welker, “Former President Trump, who is the GOP frontrunner, has said that if he is re-elected, he could end this war in 24 hours. What is your reaction and message to former President Trump about that?”
“I invite President Trump. If he can come here, I will need 24 minutes. Yes, 24 minutes, not more, not more. 24 minutes to explain [to] President Trump that he can’t manage this war. He can’t bring peace because of Putin,” Zelenskyy claimed.
In a statement to Newsmax on Monday, Trump expressed his respect for President Zelenskyy but mentioned, “I think it would be inappropriate to go to Ukraine at this time. The Biden administration is currently dealing with him, and I would not want to create a conflict of interest.”
U.S. and European officials discussed the parameters of a potential peace deal in Ukraine and what possible negotiations with Russia would entail, according to NBC News. The conversations have included a broad outline of concessions Ukraine might need to make in order to work out a deal, according to one current senior U.S. official and one former official.
Some of the talks, which have been described as “delicate,” took place last month when representatives from more than 50 allied nations, including NATO members, met for discussions. The summit took place as political support for Ukraine is waning rapidly in the U.S. and Europe.
Concerns among U.S. and European officials have heightened as the conflict appears to have devolved into a stalemate with neither side being able to gain ground. Biden Administration officials are also worried that Ukraine is running out of available manpower, while Russia has a “seemingly endless supply,” the officials said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also reportedly losing support and is facing a growing protest movement as a result of open-ended conscription requirements.
There is also growing unease over the attention the war effort has received in the wake of the October 7 attacks in Israel and the ongoing war in Gaza. Officials fear that the situation in Israel could further weaken political support for Ukraine and make it more difficult to secure additional funding.
According to the report, a growing number of U.S. officials have been using the word “stalemate” when describing the conflict, with many believing that the outcome will be determined by whichever side can field an army the longest. Both sides have largely dug in, with minimal territorial gains that can be measured in yards in recent months.
Pentagon officials believe that Ukraine likely has until the end of the year to turn the situation around before the push for a peace deal intensifies.
“Any decisions about negotiations are up to Ukraine,” Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement. “We are focused on continuing to stand strongly in support of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence against Russian aggression.”
Zelensky has pushed back on the prospect of a peace deal and has vowed to continue the fight.