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NYT columnist suggests there is a deep mistrust between United States and Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy

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New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has stated his belief that U.S. officials have a growing hesitancy to deal with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

“The Ukraine war is not over. And privately, U.S. officials are a lot more concerned about Ukraine’s leadership than they are letting on. There is deep mistrust between the White House and Ukraine President Volodymyr [Zelenskyy] — considerably more than has been reported,” Friedman wrote.

Friedman wrote that Ukraine is “marbled by corruption” and continued by saying, “my sense is that the Biden team is walking much more of a tightrope with Zelenskyy than it would appear to the eye — wanting to do everything possible to make sure he wins this war but doing so in a way that still keeps some distance between us and Ukraine’s leadership.”

He also questioned Zelenskyy’s decision to fire Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and the head of the State Security Service (SBU), Ivan Bakanov. Both were relieved of their duties in July. Friedman said he believes some “funny business is going on in Kiev.”

Friedman added that he hadn’t seen any statements or reasoning from the U.S. government “convincingly explains” the sudden shake-up of The Ukrainian government. “It is as if we don’t want to look too closely under the hood in Kiev for fear of what corruption or antics we might see, when we have invested so much there,” he said.

He went on to criticize Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan. He noted respect for Pelosi, but not her decision to ignore advice from her own government. “I have a lot of respect for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But if she does go ahead with a visit to Taiwan this week, against President Biden’s wishes, she will be doing something that is utterly reckless, dangerous and irresponsible,” Friedman said, as reported by The New York Times.

Friedman cautioned the U.S. Government to “keep your eyes on the prize” rather than provoking China. “Today that prize is crystal clear: We must ensure that Ukraine is able, at a minimum, to blunt – and, at a maximum, reverse – Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion, which if it succeeds will pose a direct threat to the stability of the whole European Union,” he said.

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