KYIV      -     Ukraine’s president insisted Thursday that he faced “no blackmail” from President Donald Trump in their phone call that helped spark an impeachment inquiry, distancing himself from the US political drama and trying to claw back his own credibility. Volodymyr Zelenskiy said for the first time that his country will “happily” investigate the conspiracy theory pushed by Trump that it was Ukrainians, not Russians, who interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. And he encouraged US and Ukrainian prosecutors to discuss investigating a gas company linked to the son of Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden. But Zelenskiy insisted he’s not Trump’s puppet and his moves appeared to be an attempt to put an end to questions dogging the Ukrainian president since details of his July 25 call with Trump emerged. He said US officials have presented zero evidence of Ukraine’s interference in 2016, but it’s in his country’s interests to find out once and for all what happened. In an all-day “media marathon” held in a Kyiv food court, Ukraine’s president played down suggestions that Trump pressured him in exchange for US military aid to help Ukraine battle Russian-backed separatists. Congressional Democrats believe Trump was holding up the aid to use as leverage to pressure Ukraine and advance his domestic political interests. Responding to questions from The Associated Press, Zelenskiy said he only learned after their phone call that the US had blocked hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine. “There was no blackmail,” he said. “We are not servants. We are an independent country.”