Speaking in Washington as world leaders gathered for this week's NATO summit, Vladimir Zelensky said he hoped Trump would not leave the 75-year-old NATO alliance and that America would continue to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia's invasion more than two years ago.

"I don't know him very well," Zelensky said of Trump, adding that Trump had good meetings with him during his first presidency, but that this was before the Russian invasion in 2022. 

HE HAS OFTEN CRITICIZED THE $60 BILLION US AID

Trump, the Republican nominee in November's US presidential election, has frequently criticized the scale of US military support to Ukraine (about $60 billion since Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022) and called Zelensky "the greatest negotiator ever".

Two of his national security advisors have presented Trump with a plan to end US military aid to Ukraine unless he begins talks with Russia to end the conflict.

Trump's relationship with Zelensky was the subject of his first impeachment as president by the US House of Representatives in 2019.

He was accused of pressuring Zelenski to help smear Joe Biden in exchange for aid, but was cleared by the Senate in 2020.

NATO's charter requires member states to come to the defense of those attacked.

On Tuesday, Zelenski urged US political leaders not to wait for the outcome of November's presidential elections in America to take strong action to help his country and called for fewer restrictions on the use of US weapons.

"PUTIN IS ALSO WAITING FOR NOVEMBER"

Zelensky said, "Everyone is waiting for November. The Americans are waiting for November, in Europe, in the Middle East, in the Pacific, the whole world is waiting for November, and realistically Putin is waiting for November. It's time to come out of the shadows, to take strong decisions... to act and not wait for November or any other month."

BIDEN PLEDGES DEFENSE

The current US president, Joe Biden, pledged to strongly defend Ukraine at the NATO summit.

Where Should We Throw the Napkin After Watching Biden? Where Should We Throw the Napkin After Watching Biden?

Editor: David Goodman