"Tremendous corruption": Trump explains why he asked to block aid to Ukraine
U.S. President Donald Trump has said he was blocking military aid to Ukraine over "tremendous corruption" in the country.
"…Ukraine is known – before him [President Volodymyr Zelensky] – for tremendous corruption. Tremendous. More than just about any country in the world. In fact, they're rated one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And I don't like giving money to a country that's that corrupt," he said at a joint press conference with President Sauli Niinistö of the Republic of Finland on October 2, 2019.
Trump said he had later unblocked the aid because Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and others called him and asked.
"But I don't like to be the sucker. And European countries are helped far more than we are, and those countries should pay more to help Ukraine," he added.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Politico wrote that Trump in summer asked his national security team to review funding under a program known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. So, the possibility of using US$250 million allocated to Ukraine for security assistance was suspended.
Later, the Democratic chairs of two House committees called on the White House to release documents relating to its decision to withhold the Ukraine funds.