ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky He called on the United States to continue supporting his country in its fight against Russia, warning that a potential defeat could mean the start of World War III.
In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” broadcast Sunday.Zelenskyy said he was grateful for the support the United States has given his country so far, but noted that American funding is serving a much larger cause by keeping Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions at bay.
“If Ukraine falls, what will happen in 10 years? Just think about it,” Zelenskyy told CBS’ Scott Pelley, according to a translation provided by the network. “Yeah [the Russians] Arriving in Poland, what’s next? A third world war?
Asked whether the war would potentially require an additional $70 billion (a figure that approximates the total amount of support the United States has provided to Ukraine so far), Zelenskyy responded: “I don’t have an answer.”
He said that would depend on whether the world is determined to defeat Putin.
“We cannot change Putin,” Zelenskyy said. “Russian society has [lost] the respect of the world. They elected him and re-elected him and raised a second Hitler. They did this. We cannot go back in time. But we can stop it here.”
Zelenskyy added that he expects Putin to continue threatening to use nuclear weapons against his country as the United States approaches the 2024 presidential election cycle.
“He is waiting for the United States to become less stable. He believes that will happen during the American elections,” Zelenskyy said.
“It will take advantage of the risk of using nuclear weapons to fuel that [instability]”he added.
The Ukrainian leader will travel to Washington later this week, where he is expected to visit the Capitol and also meet with President Joe Biden at the White House as part of a trip to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly. His visit comes at a critical time, as Biden has asked lawmakers to approve a $24 billion package for kyiv, a request that hardline Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneThey have openly struck down.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Punchbowl News He also hopes to meet with Zelenskyy on Monday.
So far, Congressional lawmakers have greenlit a total of $113 billion for Ukraine, including $70 billion for security and intelligence, among other things. according to the New York Times.