Spelling in this transcript is per the White House
Declassified by decision of the president on September 24, 2019
MEMORANDUM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION
TITLE: Telephone conversation with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
PARTICIPANTS: President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
Notetakers: The White House Situation Room
DATE, TIME AND PLACE: July 25, 2019, 9:03 AM – 9:33 AM EDT Residence
The president: congratulations on a big win. We all looked from the United States and you did a great job. The way you came from behind, someone who didn't get much chance, and who eventually won you easily. It is a fantastic achievement. Congratulations.
President Zelenskyy: You are absolutely right, Mr President. We have won a lot and have worked hard on this. We have worked a lot, but I want to confess that I have had the opportunity to learn from you. We have used quite a bit of your skills and knowledge and have been able to use it as an example for our elections – and yes, it was true that these were unique elections. We found ourselves in a unique situation where we could achieve a unique success. I can tell you the following; the first time you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you call me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I have to run more often, so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.
The President: [laughter] That's a very good idea. I think your country is very happy with that.
President Zelenskyy: Well, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to remove the swamp here in our country. We have brought in many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in it.
The President: Well, it's very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than European countries do and they should help you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something you really should ask them about. When I spoke to Angela Merkel, she talks about Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. Many of the European countries are the same way, so I think it's something you want to look at, but the United States has been very good for Ukraine. I would not say that it is necessarily reciprocal because things are happening that are not good, but the United States has been very good for Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy: Yes, you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I spoke to Angela Merkel and I met her. I also met and spoke with Macron and I said that they do not do as much as they should about the problems with the sanctions. They do not enforce the sanctions. They don't work as much as they should work for Ukraine. It seems that, although logically speaking, the European Union should be our biggest partner, but technically the United States is a much larger partner than the European Union and I am very grateful to you for that, because the United States is doing a lot for it Ukraine. Much more than the European Union, especially when we talk about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I also want to thank you for your great support in the field of defense. We are ready to continue working on the following steps. specifically, we are almost ready to purchase more javelin throw from the United States for defense purposes.
The President: I would like you to do us a favor, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened to this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I think you have one of your rich people … The server, they say that Ukraine has it. There are a lot. of things that happened, the whole situation. I think you surround yourself with some of the same people. I would like the Attorney General to call you or your people and I would like you to unpack it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very bad performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent version, but they say that a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it is very important that you do it when possible.
President Zelenskyy: Yes, it is very important to me and everything that you have just mentioned. For me as president, it is very important and we are open to future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page about cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose I have just recalled our ambassador from the United States and he will be replaced by a highly competent and experienced ambassador who will work hard to ensure that our two nations come closer. I would also like to see him have your trust and your trust and have personal relationships with you so that we can work together even more. I will tell you personally that one of my assistants has recently spoken with Mr Giuliani and we very much hope that Mr Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet when he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to reassure you that you have no one but friends around us. I will ensure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are good friends and you, Mr President, have friends in our country so that we can continue our strategic partnership. I also intend to surround myself with wonderful people and, in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as President of Ukraine that all investigations will be conducted openly and frankly. I can assure you of that.
The president: good, because I heard that you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was closed and that is really unfair. Many people talk about that, the way they closed your very good public prosecutor and you had some really bad people. Mr. Giuliani is a very respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I'd like him to call you. I will ask him to call you together with the Attorney General. Rudy knows very well what is happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could talk to him, that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in Ukraine were bad news, so I want you to know. The other thing, there is much talk about Biden's son, that Biden has stopped the persecution and many people want to know about it, so anything you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden bragged that he stopped the persecution, so if you can look at it … It sounds terrible to me.
President Zelenskyy: I wanted to tell you about the public prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I am well informed about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next public prosecutor will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by parliament and will start as a new public prosecutor in September. He or she will investigate the situation, in particular the company you mentioned in this publication. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the question of ensuring that fairness is restored so that we ensure it and work on the investigation of the matter. Moreover, I would like to ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to ensure that we exercise justice in our country with regard to the US ambassador from Ukraine as far as I remember her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first. who told me she was a bad ambassador because I agree 100% with you. Her attitude towards me was far from the best because she admired the previous president and she stood by his side. She would not accept me well enough as a new president.
The President: Well, she's going onh some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani call you and I will also have Attorney General Barr call you and we will sort it out to the bottom. I'm sure you'll find out. I heard that the public prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very honest public prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is getting better and I predict better. You have many assets. It is a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.
President Zelenskyy: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends who live in the United States. The last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York at Central Park and I stayed in the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, especially Washington DC. On the other hand, I also wanted to assure you that we take the matter very seriously and will work on the investigation. As for the economy, there is a lot of potential for our two countries and one of the problems. that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe that we can be very successful and work together on energy independence with the United States. We are already working on collaboration. We buy American oil, but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I want to thank you very much for your support.
The president: good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. If you want to come to the White House, please call. Give us a date and we will work that. from. I look forward to seeing you.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much. I would love to come and meet you personally and get to know you better. I look forward to our meeting and would also like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kiev, a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country that would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that we will be in Poland on 1 September and that we can hopefully meet in Poland. After that, it might be a very good idea to travel to Ukraine. We can take my plane and go to Ukraine, or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine.
The President: Okay, we can solve that. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland, because I think we will be there at that time.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much, Mr President.
The president: congratulations on your fantastic work. The whole world watched. I'm not sure if it was so upset, but congratulations.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you Mr. President, goodbye.
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