Zelensky calls for more U.S. aid, challenges Trump to 'end war'

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called for additional U.S. aid in the country's war against Russia. Photo by Ukrainian President Press Office/ UPI

Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the U.S. for yet more military and financial backing while at the same time inviting former President Donald Trump to the Ukrainian war zone to make good on a claim he could swiftly end the war.

Trump boasted in March that, if reelected, he could "solve" the war in Ukraine in 24 hours. The negotiating process would be "very easy," Trump quipped then.

In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Zelensky called Trump's bluff, saying the former president "can't manage this war," and invited Trump to visit the war zone and back up his claim.

"Former President Trump said that about 24 hours, that he can manage it and finish the war," Zelensky said during the NBC interview. "For me, what can I say? So he's very welcome as well," Zelensky said.

"President Biden was here, and I think he understood some details which you can understand only being here," Zelensky said. "So I invite President Trump. If he can come here, I will need 24 minutes" to explain to him he can't automatically change the complex and complicated factors shaping the war.

Zelensky added that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not open to negotiation even if Trump were to try, just one of many factors making bringing the war to an end exceedingly difficult.

"He can't bring peace because of Putin," Zelensky continued. "If he's not trying and if he's not ready to give our territory to this terrible man, to Putin, if you are not ready to give it, if you are not ready to give our independence, he can't manage it."

Meanwhile, Russian state media reported that Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has called on Biden to change his stances on Russia to engage in more constructive high-level discussions.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that he is ready for any contacts," Peskov said. "Curtailing of the basis of bilateral relations between Russia and the US was spearheaded by the Americans."

Zelensky said he is hopeful that Ukraine has the support of the American people and that U.S. backing should not be subject to political whims.

Zelensky admitted that he is not sure whether Trump would even support Ukraine in its war against Russia if Trump does not win the election next year.

"Really, I don't know," he said. "I hope that it depends not only on the president institutionally. I think it depends on the opinion of Americans, of your society. I think that is most important."

Zelensky said the cost of letting Russia win the war would be further conflict involving ground troops from NATO countries, which he said is what prompted his call for additional U.S. funding for Ukraine.

In a measure of global support for Ukraine, European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Saturday that Ukraine had "made excellent progress" towards EU accession.

Von der Leyen visited Kyiv and affirmed EU support for Ukraine "for as long as it takes."