Podobné příspěvky: Ukrainians Contacted Officials About Fears

Ukrainians Contacted U.S. Officials in May About Aid Fears

11. listopadu 2019, 00:31
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Ukrainians Contacted U.S. Officials in May About Aid FearsNurPhotoNearly a month before President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, top officials in Kiev were so concerned about the fate of U.S. political and military support for the country, that at least two inquired about the matter with Washington, according to three sources with knowledge of those conversations.Despite strong showing of American support at Zelensky’s inauguration in May, Ukrainian officials were growing increasingly concerned about Rudy Giuliani’s public comments about investigations into Hunter Biden and the gas company he worked for, Burisma. Two of those Ukrainian officials inquired with current and former U.S. officials, including an official at the State Department, about whether Giuliani’s efforts aligned with Washington’s thinking, and if the pressure campaign from Trump’s personal lawyer would impact a presidential White House meeting or the delivery of U.S. military aid, the sources said. One of the Ukrainian officials who was wary about the mixed messages from Washington and the fate of U.S. support for the country was Oleksandr Danylyuk, the Chairman of the country’s National Security and Defense Council. Danylyuk, appointed to his post May 26, participated in several at least one key meeting with U.S. officials that is now under scrutiny by House impeachment investigators on Capitol Hill. Danylyuk’s tenure in the Zelensky administration was short lived. He resigned in September after transcript between President Trump and President Zelensky was released. He told Ukrainain media outlets that he stepped down because of efforts by billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky to influence banking regulation.The details of Danylyuk’s conversations with current and former U.S. officials, some of which are reported here for the first time, underscore how officials close to Zelensky were worried about Giuliani’s efforts, and U.S. support faltering earlier than previously understood.As early as May, Danylyuk was in conversation with current and former U.S. officials about “what to do with Giuliani” and his associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, according to one former senior official close to Danylyuk.“The concern was really over Giuliani appearing on TV all the time talking about corruption, Ukraine and the Bidens,” the official said. “And so here’s this guy who represents the president of the United States out there making these claims. People began to worry about what Trump was thinking about it all.”At the time of Danylyuk’s conversations, the communication channel between Kiev and Washington was far from solid. Weeks earlier, in late April, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovonovitch had been recalled back to the U.S. The Ukraine portfolio was taken over, at least temporarily, by U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, former top diplomat to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry, according to the testimony transcripts of multiple impeachment inquiry witnesses. The changing diplomatic landscape had Ukrainian officials, including Danylyuk, on edge.“It was really all anyone could talk about at the time,” one U.S. official said, referring to Giuliani’s public messaging on Ukraine. “This conversation was happening all over the place —in the business community. In the political circles. And so when you’re that confused about what’s going on, it’s only natural that you begin to worry about this huge aid package that’s on the line.” The concerns about Giuliani weren’t just circling in Kiev. In Washington, senior officials were fielding calls and meetings about the situation. Fiona Hill, the former top Russia advisor to the National Security Council, testified that she was hearing reports that the Ukrainians were “very concerned” that they were receiving pressure from Giuliani and his team to launch investigations. One of Danylyuk’s earliest reported official meetings with a U.S. representative was on May 30 with Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). Walberg had flown to Ukraine to attend the Ukrainian National Prayer Breakfast where he gave a speech. The two were scheduled to talk for an hour, according to a disclosure form Walberg filed with the House Ethics Committee. According to three sources with knowledge of that conversation, Walberg and Danylyuk spoke about corruption in the country, including ongoing efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to launch investigations into the country’s energy sector. And Danylyuk asked Walberg about the timing of a White House visit and the importance of the speedy delivery of Číst celý článek >>> Přeložit do en

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