Saturday, 30 May, 2020

Ukrainian lawmaker releases leaked phone calls of Biden and Poroshenko

Volodymyr Zelensky Enlarge Image Volodymyr Zelensky Maksym Polishchuk Getty Images
Deanna Wagner | 23 May, 2020, 08:07

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced on Wednesday that the leaked recordings of phone calls allegedly between Joe Biden and former president Petro Poroshenko would be investigated by the country's law enforcement agencies. He attended the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB in Moscow. "About 4,500 kilometers", Zelensky said during a news conference.

Andrii Derkach, the Giuliani ally, claimed to have received the tapes from investigative journalists.

As with Trump's efforts regarding Ukraine past year, which included pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son, Biden's circle reiterated how consistent the conversations on the tapes were with official USA and European policy at the time and with what Biden and Poroshenko have both said publicly since.

In a Facebook statement, Poroshenko said the tapes were fabricated and described their release as part of a Kremlin-driven effort to "undermine bipartisan support of Ukraine in the United States". Foreign officials as well as Ukraine's respected anti-corruption activists openly urged for the dismissal of Mr Shokin who never had an active investigation in Hunter Biden's work.

Mr Zelenskiy, a popular comedian without any political background, during last year's election campaign repeatedly accused Mr Poroshenko of corruption and abuse of power, citing recurrent media reports that document possible conflicts of interests and other misdemeanours. Still, Trump allies have sought to leverage them to revive scrutiny, in addition to conspiracy theories, about Biden's ties to Ukraine forward of the 2020 elections.

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Critics claim the calls show a quid pro quo - though Biden has publicly discussed the arrangement in the past.

The U.S., the International Monetary Fund and Ukrainian civil-society groups openly called for Prosecutor General Viktor Shokhin to be fired because he was widely considered to be corrupt and hindering the country's anti-corruption efforts. "And I'm a man of my word".

At no point in the clips released Tuesday does Biden mention Burisma or his son.

The series of recordings released by Derkach on Tuesday purportedly feature conversations between Poroshenko and senior Obama administration officials including Vice President Joe Biden and Obama Secretary of State John Kerry between late 2015 and mid-2016. From the Burisma detraction, to his kid Hunter's transactions, this should not stun any kind of American that takes notice of the happening of the DemocraticParty I am absolutely happy that some lawful system is ultimately exploring the dodgy transactions of the Biden family members, also if it isn't an American court!

In one episode, ex-president Poroshenko discussed Yuriy Lutsenko as a candidate to replace Shokin.