14:08 Aug. 5, 2016
Valeriy Chaly says Trump often talks about making a deal with Putin, but Ukraine and other nearby states don't want to be cut out of the deal
Typically foreign ambassadors try to stay out of U.S. politics, but this is not a typical election cycle. Ukraine's ambassador to Washington is rattled by what he's hearing from the campaign trail. In particular, he's worried about what Donald Trump has been saying about his country and its powerful neighbor Russia.
Ambassador Valeriy Chaly attended both the Republican and Democratic conventions. He's gone over the party platforms and listened carefully to every word the candidates and their proxies had to say about Ukraine. He got really nervous when he heard Republican Donald Trump tell ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" that he would consider recognizing Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
The next day, Trump said trying to get Crimea back would start World War III. He's also suggesting that he would ease sanctions on Russia, though as ambassador Chaly points out, even the watered-down Republican Party platform calls for maintaining sanctions until Ukraine's sovereignty is restored.
"Mr. Trump said many things about Crimea, about sanctions, about other very sensitive issue that goes in contradiction of his official position of Washington today and position of Republican Party," Chaly says.
Not only Trump's statements but also about Trump's team is the subject for concern. One foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, is an investment banker with ties to Russia's state-owned energy company, Gazprom. Another, Paul Manafort, worked for Ukraine's former pro-Russian president. And Chaly says he's not the only European diplomat with questions about these connections to Vladimir Putin.
"Mr. Putin want to have next American president sitting with him in the same table and decide about everything in the world, not taking into account any regulations or rules," the Ukrainian diplomat adds.