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Ukraine becomes embroiled in Washington politics | #TheCube

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By Seana Davis
Ukraine becomes embroiled in Washington politics | #TheCube

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky and his US counterpart Donald Trump have at least one thing in common — both were political novices before being elected.

Certainly, for Zelensky, a fresh face in the game, becoming embroiled in the inner politics of Washington is uncharted territory.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, on Tuesday launched impeachment proceedings against Trump amid questions about whether the president used his nation's foreign policy for personal political gain, bringing Ukraine-US relations under the spotlight.

Read more: US House Democrats plunge into Trump impeachment inquiry

This new row stems from a phone call between Trump and Zelensky on July 25, which was raised by a whistleblower in a formal complaint.

Trump's critics allege he using his powers as president to press Ukraine to dig up damaging information on Joe Biden — currently the front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary — during the call.

Asked whether Trump had put pressure on him during the July phone call, Zelensky said nobody can put pressure on him, except his six-year-old son.

"Nobody can put pressure on me because I am the president of an independent state," Zelenskiy told reporters in New York on Wednesday ahead of his meeting with Trump, in comments broadcast by Russia 24. "The only one person by the way who can put pressure on me ... is my son, who is six years old."

On the other hand, Trump and his supporters claim the former vice-president used his power, in turn, to pressure Ukraine to take a step back from a criminal investigation that could implicate his son.

However, Ukraine being hurled into partisan US politics goes back as far as Trump's lawyer, Rudi Giuliani, accusing a former Ukranian lawmaker of leaking information about ex-campaign manager for the president, Paul Manafort, for the benefit of Democrats.

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