Does Trump's victory mean recognition of the occupied territories of Ukraine?

Trump said that he could easily end the war within 24 hours by insisting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin agree to a settlement that would mean recognition of the occupied territories of Ukraine

by Sededin Dedovic
Does Trump's victory mean recognition of the occupied territories of Ukraine?
© Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

The war with Russia is raging, and Ukrainians fear that a Trump victory could significantly change the course of Western support. US President Joe Biden's key $60 billion aid package has languished on Capitol Hill for months, largely because of pro-Trump Republican lawmakers.

Such political shocks and upheavals will probably only increase as the US presidential campaign heats up. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba emphasizes that Ukraine's primary focus is on the fight for survival, not foreign elections.

He acknowledges the need to adapt and work with whoever wins the US election, including a potential Trump administration. "When you're fighting an existential war, the last thing you need to worry about is the outcome of an election you can't influence because other people are deciding.

You will have to work with that choice, whoever it is," Kuleba told Politico.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba shake hands after holding a joint press© Omar Havana / getty Images

Elections are also being held in Europe this year, and major changes are expected on the political scene.

When asked how this year's elections in Europe could affect Ukraine as it persistently defends its independence, he answered: "Whatever happens, we will have to find a way to cooperate with the winners of the elections." The prospect of a Trump presidency fills many Ukrainians with dread.

They recall the difficulty of securing a key $60 billion aid package under the current Biden administration because of Republican resistance, which has been largely aligned with Trump. Trump's past comments regarding the war raise additional concerns.

He expressed confidence in his ability to quickly resolve the conflict through a deal with Russia, a solution that would likely include ceding territory to Ukraine. This ignores Ukrainian sovereignty and raises fears of a future appeasement policy towards Russia.

Mihailo Podolyak, senior adviser to President Zelenski, expresses optimism.

A man pauses by a grave as Ukrainian flags fly in a cemetery for soldiers killed in action following the Russian aggresion© Carl Court / Getty Images

"I understand that the domestic political agenda is now dominant because they are preparing for the presidential elections.

But an investment in Ukraine is an investment in America's reputation, in its dominance, in its right to set global rules and ensure they are not broken. Russia has lost 53 percent of its arms export market in 2023 because their weapons are not effective.

The American military-industrial complex is, among other things, the main donor of American political parties, and sales mean business and profit," Podolyak told Politico. And if all else fails, the senior adviser has a lot of faith in Zelensky's communication skills when it comes to winning over Trump.

Although many would disagree with him, he is convinced that Zelensky has the innate ability to adapt to any person. "He is able to tap into the emotions and mindsets of politicians in different countries, and is good at identifying arguments that will sway them." It's very cool to see him doing that," said Podoljak While some point to Trump's sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as positive signs, skepticism remains.

Many Ukrainians are worried about Trump's personal grievances, particularly his fixation on the Hunter Biden investigation, which could overshadow key geopolitical considerations. We can recall that Zelensky has said several times before that if Putin hopes that Trump's re-election will bring Russia a military victory, the Russian leader is wrong.

"Trump would never support Putin," he said last September. But this confidence has since evaporated, with Zelenskiy expressing unequivocal concern at Trump's brazen suggestion that he could end the war within a day. Further complicating matters is the poor relationship between Andri Jermak, Zelensky's top aide, and the Trump administration.

Yermak reportedly promised an investigation into Hunter Biden during the 2019 meeting, a promise that remained unfulfilled. It remains uncertain whether Yermak could forge a productive relationship with a potential Trump national security team.

However, even though the President of Ukraine has been quite tight-lipped about Trump in recent months, Foreign Minister Kuleba believes that Trump is a great ally of Ukraine. "Who sold the first US weapons to Ukraine? President Trump sent us Javelins.

Who initiated the program of free delivery of the first naval vessels, the Iceland and Mark VI boats, to Ukraine? Trump. Who fought against the Nord Stream 2 project? That was Trump," Kuleba told Politico. The year 2024 will be very significant because of the USA and EU elections, which are important factors for global politics, but also the biggest allies of Ukraine.Perhaps at this moment we are not aware of how significant this year will be for global relations.

Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Vladimir Putin