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Seeking Western support, Zelenskiy voices world war risk

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks at a press conference while in Switzerland

BERLIN (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy voiced the danger of the Ukraine conflict escalating into World War Three, as he pressed his case for support from nations from Germany to the United States in an interview with German state broadcaster ARD on Sunday.

"It seems to me that the Chancellor (Olaf Scholz) is aware of this risk," Zelenskiy said, adding that if Russia hit a NATO country, it would be "the beginning of the Third World War."

Asked whether he was disappointed that Germany did not plan to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles, Zelenskiy said he was only disappointed Germany had not played "the role it should have played in the first occupation of Ukraine".

Referring to the weakness of the West's response to Russia's invasion of Crimea in 2014 that was a precursor for Moscow's invasion in February 2022, he said it wasn't just about the German response.

"It's not just about Olaf Scholz," he said. "It concerns European leaders and the U.S."

In the U.S., Zelenskiy said Ukraine has support from across the political divide. "There are individual Republicans who do not support Ukraine, but the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans support Ukraine," he said.

On whether a second term of Donald Trump in the White House would affect support for his country, he said U.S. policy does not depend on a single person.

(Reporting by Maria Martinez; editing by Barbara Lewis)