Ukraine's Zelensky 'breaks record' for world's longest press conference

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says there was "no blackmail" in a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump that helped spark an impeachment inquiry.

The US House of Representatives is conducting an impeachment inquiry into Trump over alleged abuse of power during the July 25 call in which he asked Zelensky to conduct a probe of potential 2020 White House rival Joe Biden and his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

The Ukrainian leader said he was unaware that military aid to his country had been blocked when he spoke to Trump in July.

"There was no blackmail", Zelensky said. He said he did not violate Ukrainian law, adding that his comments of Trump's words could be construed as interference in USA domestic politics.

"And after our meeting, America unblocked the aid". "This was not the subject of our conversation", Mr Zelensky said about his call with Mr Trump, speaking to reporters in a day-long series of televised briefings with the press, held at a Kiev food court.

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Ukraine's top prosecutor last week said his office would review several cases related to the owner of the gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the board, and Zelenskiy on Thursday invited USA and Ukrainian prosecutors to cooperate, but insisted he would not interfere.

Ukraine's president just can't stop talking.

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Pence met in the Polish capital on September 1. "I said that we are not corrupt [regarding the Burisma investigation], that we are open to investigating all cases, and we we'll do it according to the law".

The 41-year-old president reacted with surprise, saying he was a "modest" person and averse to celebrations. "And you have to know that I understand, so I will not change any answers", he told a reporter from BuzzFeed News. While Mr. Zelensky acknowledged regular contacts with the oligarch - Mr. Kolomoisky's former lawyer is Mr. Zelensky's chief of staff - he said that Mr. Kolomoisky knew that Mr. Zelensky would always put the national interests first. While his plan to make peace with the Kremlin has led to accusations of "capitulation" from his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, Mr. Zelensky said he had been elected - defeating Mr. Poroshenko by a wide margin - with a mandate to end a war that has taken more than 13,000 lives since 2014.

The July call embarrassed Zelenskiy because it showed him as eager to please Trump and critical of European partners whose support he needs to strengthen Ukraine's economy and to end the conflict with Russian Federation.

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