by Veronika Kyrylenko, American Thinker:
Half a year after the failed attempt to impeach President Trump over his “pressure” on Ukraine, a topic of the relationships between the U.S. and Ukraine will be yet again getting close attention and presumably making it hot and sweaty in the Delaware basement.
A reason for that is a political scandal that burst out in Kiev on May 19, when a member of Ukrainian Parliament Andrey Derkach called a press conference where he released audio records of the phone calls between “individuals whose voices sound like” those of ex-President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Vice President Joseph Biden, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry who discussed the course of Ukrainian domestic policy in very precise detail. On that tapes, Joe Biden factually tells Poroshenko what to do, and Poroshenko seeking advice, cooperates his actions and frankly reassures Biden that all his orders will be executed. Mr. Derkach said that the contents of those records are sufficient to incriminate Poroshenko a treason. As for our side of the pond, the tables are rapidly turning against Biden, who, so far, “magically” shrugged off all corruption accusations.
Yours truly, as a native Russian and Ukrainian speaker, was thrilled to listen to every single word that was said on that press conference.
The central topic of the conversations on the highest level was a figure of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, whom American counterparts insisted to be removed from the Office as a key precondition of landing Ukraine $1 billion that it strove to receive from IMF to keep its collapsing economy afloat.
The first conversation between Poroshenko and Kerry took place on December 3, 2015. During that initial call, Kerry told Poroshenko that “Vice President Biden would like you to consider a possibility to replace General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin … Vice President is concerned about it.” Kerry urged Poroshenko to resolve this “issue” by the Biden’s visit to Ukraine.
On February 18, 2016 Poroshenko gave Biden “good news”: “Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin, and despite of the fact that we didn’t have any corruption charges, we don’t have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him … to resign… And despite of the fact that he has a support in the Parliament. And as a finish of my meeting with him, he promised to give me the statement on resignation. And one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation. And this is my second step for keeping my promises.” “Great!” – exclaims Biden. Thus, there was nothing wrong with Shokin, according to Poroshenko, but one billion dollars outweighed it for the corrupt Ukrainian President.
Interestingly, that is not even the news since Biden himself bragged about his influence on Ukraine at the Foreign Affair Issue Launch on January 23, 2018: “I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk [Prime Minister of Ukraine] that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t…I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”
Yes, Viktor Shokin was fired, but Biden made more demands from Poroshenko on March 22, 2016: “Tell me that there is a new government and a new Prosecutor General. I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for the billion dollars.” “Extremely strong motivation!” – replied Poroshenko eagerly.
On May 13, 2016, Biden congratulated Poroshenko on “getting the new Prosecutor General,” saying that it will be “critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did,” than added “And I’m a man of my word, and now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we’re ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee.” Poroshenko remarked that he asked a newly appointed Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko to contact U.S. Embassy, and emphasized that he “would be very pleased if he [Lutsenko] had a certain person either from Washington, whatever… We have here, I don’t remember his name, an American prosecutor of the Ukrainian origin. He’s a little old. I sent Geoffrey [Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine] his name. He was ready to be an assistant and advisor [to Lutsenko]… and be a person of trust.” In other words, an American with the advisory functions to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General who would make sure nobody looks into Burisma anymore. And such person was found – it was ex-U.S. federal prosecutor Bohdan Vitvitsky. Joe Biden, meantime, got what he wanted. The major part of the Burisma investigation was closed, and the remaining part was sent to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine that was directly tied to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and instead of investigating corruption leaked to them confidential information on Viktor Shokin and his family.