In a time of war, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praises his country's ability to unite, the world's unified stance against Russia and Vladimir Putin's aggression, and the American people's ability to overcome political division to provide aid.
"I'm sorry if I'll be saying something that you don't like, but for us as the country in war, it doesn't matter Democrats or Republicans: It's the people of the United States that support us and at this time we're thinking of that," Zelenskyy told Newsmax's Rob Schmitt through a translator in an exclusive sitdown interview in the capital city of Kyiv.
"When there is a unified position – whether it is a strong position of the party to Ukraine – then it's important for Ukraine."
Schmitt asked if former President Donald Trump were still in office how the situation between Ukraine and Russia might be different, but Zelenskyy said it is not who the U.S. president is as much as the will of the people to stand with Ukraine against Russia and Putin.
"I don't know what would happen if Donald Trump would be the president of the United States; I could not predict what would happen," Zelenskyy said. "But the values of the United States, they're all the same. Any person could become the president. Some might like Ukraine more, some less. Some might have respect to Putin, some might not.
"But the values that our country's fighting for are definitely the ones shared by the United States. And it's truly important that the United States still has the institutions working despite whoever comes to power.
"The institutions are working, the senators are working, the Congress is working, and it's very important that they're supporting Ukraine."
Amid the at-times-tepid support for Ukraine amid Putin's threats against those who interfere, Zelenskyy wants European and other world leaders to stand strong behind their sanctions and not just use them as lip service.
"I can neither be frustrated or not frustrated – I don't have time for that – all I want is everything to come as fast as possible," Zelenskyy said. "I would like to have strong sanctions – not just something that you can demonstrate to your people or to media, so the populations or their cities would keep pressing on their leaders."
Ultimately, the fight against Russia is Ukraine's, Zelenskyy admitted, but he needs the support of world leaders and weapons – not their soldiers – to stand up against Putin.
"I want to have an open fight against Russia's aggression," he continued. "Step by step we have made some achievements, and a lot of European countries supporting us with this or that sanctions – but I believe there couldn't be a good army without the weapons."
Countries that have imposed sanctions have to do so full throttle, Zelenskyy urged.
"You cannot impose the sanctions at half strength," he said. "It's either you have them at full strength, if you decided to go against Russia for torturing people, for committing atrocities, for committing rape, you need to be strong.
"That would demonstrate the strength of the group. That's much stronger than a single country."
It is that notion that makes NATO a strong force for world peace, Zelenskyy concluded.
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