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Archive for Ukraine

Newsline: Georgia recalls Ukraine ambassador

Georgia has recalled its ambassador to Ukraine for consultations after Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili was appointed as a chairman of the Ukrainian Executive Reform Committee, the foreign minister said. “Georgia’s strategic partner’s decision to appoint a person, who is convicted by Georgian courts and prosecuted, raises questions,” David Zalkaliani told reporters on Friday. He said the decision did not mean breaking diplomatic relations between the two countries. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/georgia-recalls-ukraine-ambassador-saakashvili-appointment-200508083518834.html) In 2018, Georgia convicted Saakashvili of abuse of power and seeking to cover up evidence about the 2005 beating of an opposition member of parliament when he was president – charges the former leader dismissed as politically motivated.

Newsline: U.S. Embassy clarifies work on dangerous pathogens in Ukraine

A coronavirus outbreak in Ukraine has raised the issue of U.S. virus research laboratories that work the country. On April 22, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine posted an official statement on this issue. “Here in Ukraine, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program works with the Ukrainian Government to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern in Ukrainian government facilities, while allowing for peaceful research and vaccine development”. “Our joint efforts help to ensure that dangerous pathogens do not fall into the wrong hands,” reads the report. The Embassy says the information mentioned by Kuzmin and Medvedchuk in the inquiry mirrors Russian disinformation. (https://www.unian.info/politics/u-s-embassy-comments-on-lawmakers-inquiry-into-u-s-laboratories-work-in-ukraine-10970450.html) The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has responded to a request made by lawmakers from the Opposition Platform – For Life parliamentary faction Renat Kuzmin and Viktor Medvedchuk. Recently, the two sent an inquiry to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about 15 U.S. biological laboratories operating in Ukraine under Pentagon supervision. On April 14, Kuzmin posted a copy of the request on his Facebook page. It says outbreaks of various viruses were recorded during these laboratories’ work in Ukraine, which resulted in deaths. At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities have already found violations in the work of these laboratories that could be the cause of virus leaks, the authors said. In this regard, Kuzmin and Medvedchuk asked Zelensky to explain how these laboratories are financed and how the Ukrainian authorities control them.

Newsline: Ukraine’s Embassy helps people staying in China

Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine Kateryna Zelenko reported about the work of the Ukrainian diplomats in China on Twitter. “The plane with evacuated citizens flew to Ukraine and the work of our diplomats in China continues. The Embassy of Ukraine in China is in constant communication with the Ukrainians who refused from the evacuation and stayed in Wuhan and other cities,” the message said. (https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/ukraines-embassy-helps-people-staying-in-china-official-48756.html) Zelenko also noted that the citizens of Ukraine, who stay in China for various reasons, get organizational, financial and advisory support from the embassy. 45 Ukrainians and 27 citizens of Argentina were evacuated from Chinese city Wuhan. The plane with the citizens of Ukraine and foreigners evacuated from China landed in Kharkiv.

Newsline: Ukraine’s embassy says citizens to be evacuated from Wuhan in China

Ukraine is preparing to evacuate its citizens from the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province on Tuesday by special charter plane to Kiev, a statement from the country’s embassy in China said on Monday. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-ukraine/ukraine-preparing-to-evacuate-citizens-from-wuhan-in-china-on-tuesday-embassy-idUSKBN20410P) Returning citizens would be put into mandatory quarantine for two weeks, the statement said. A coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 900 people. China has borne the brunt of the disease with the vast majority of confirmed cases.

Newsline: Foreign Minister apologizes for Ukrainian embassy’s actions in Iran

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko has apologized for the mistake made by the Embassy of Ukraine in Iran soon after the crash of PS752 flight of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA). (https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/prystaiko-apologizes-for-ukrainian-embassys-actions-in-iran.html) “As a minister of foreign affairs, I am apologizing for the embassy’s actions. It was their first response in a state of shock which our embassy [employees] experienced having arrived on the site where our people had died, where there were the fragments of the plane, the remains of deceased and so on. The embassy made a slight mistake by issuing the information, which they had received from the Iranian side, without mentioning that it was given by Iran,” he said while speaking at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine during an hour of questions to the government on Jan. 17.

Newsline: U.S. Ambassador Was Under Surveillance In Ukraine

A lawyer for former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is calling for an investigation after materials released Tuesday night as part of the impeachment inquiry suggested she was under surveillance by individuals linked to President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. (https://www.npr.org/2020/01/15/796593183/new-lev-parnas-documents-suggest-u-s-ambassador-was-under-surveillance-in-ukrain) That detail was among a trove of documents provided by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that were made public by the House Intelligence Committee late Tuesday. The House impeached Trump last month for abuse of office and obstruction of Congress, and lawmakers will vote today to send those two articles to the Senate, where a trial is likely to open next week. The records provided by Parnas, who has been indicted in New York for alleged campaign finance violations, add to the evidence already released documenting Giuliani’s efforts to get the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to publicly announce an investigation related to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had ties to a Ukrainian energy company.

Newsline: Ukraine admits diplomats’ mistake, explaining embassy’s edited report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs admits that the Ukrainian Embassy in Iran made a mistake in its initial report about the plane crash near Tehran, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andriy Zayats told journalists Monday. In the first hours after the UIA flight PS752 crashed shortly after takeoff, the embassy issued a statement claiming that the plane went down as a result of engine failure, adding that the version of terrorist attack and a missile hit were “ruled out.” However, the statement was edited shortly. (Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10828490-mfa-ukraine-admits-diplomats-mistake-explaining-embassy-s-edited-report.html) The paragraph ruling out a terror attack and a missile hit has been cut out. Instead, the updated report said: “Information on the causes of the plane crash is being verified by the commission. Any statements regarding the causes of the accident prior to the decision of the commission are unofficial.”

Newsline: U.S. embassy would not stop a corruption scheme in Ukraine

Rudy Giuliani has revealed some of what he discovered on his trip to the Ukraine, unraveling a conspiracy theory alleging the U.S. Embassy – led by then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch – ‘quashed’ efforts by Kiev to end a corruption investigation into the disappearance of foreign aid because it was going to a non-governmental organization run by billionaire George Soros. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7820293/Giuliani-claims-U-S-embassy-not-stop-Ukraine-corruption-scheme-funneling-money-Soros.html) Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, unveiled his findings in an interview with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk for his podcast, a copy of which was obtained by DailyMail.com. He told Kirk he has told President Trump of his findings. ‘I have notified the president of that,’ he said in the 30-minute interview, which will be posted online Monday. The former New York City mayor described how he discovered that back in 2017 an organization he called the ‘Ukrainian accounting authority’ did a study, found $5.3 billion in foreign aid missing and attempted to investigate it. He claimed the U.S. – then under the Obama administration – moved to ‘quash’ the probe. ‘All of the sudden, members of the American Embassy, under control of Marie Yovanovitch, I call her Saint Marie Yovanovitch, come and tell them [the Ukrainians] – come and tell them – ‘there’s no need to do this, we’re okay with the spending.’ He added: ‘It comes down from the top not to investigate.’ Yovanovitch was appointed ambassador to the Ukraine by President Obama in 2016. Trump recalled her in April 2019 after a smear campaign led by Giuliani. Giuliani went on to explain why the embassy ‘quashed’ the Ukraine probe about corruption in their government, laying out his unproven allegation that the money was being funneled to non-governmental organizations run by George Soros and his children.

Newsline: US Ambassador to Ukraine to Leave Post

The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine will be leaving his post at the beginning of next year after a term convulsed by the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, two officials said. William Taylor, who was brought in to replace the ambassador whose term was cut short by Trump in May, could only serve a maximum of 210 days under federal law. But the veteran diplomat ended up a key player in the events that led to the impeachment inquiry and will step down as the charge d’affaires of the embassy in Kyiv on Jan. 1. The plan was confirmed by two officials who were not authorized to speak publicly about a personnel matter and spoke on condition of anonymity. (https://time.com/5751648/ukraine-bill-taylor-leaving-post/) Taylor will be replaced on an interim basis by his current deputy, Kristina Kvien, the officials said. The officials said the White House is likely to nominate retired Army Gen. Keith Dayton to be the next ambassador to Ukraine. Dayton is currently director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany but has held diplomatic posts in the past, including as the defense attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Newsline: U.S. Embassy Allegedly Told Police ‘Not to Investigate’ $5.3 Billion in U.S. Aid Misused in Ukraine

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani alleged on Dec. 6 that $5.3 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine was misused, with much of the money going to non-governmental organizations favored by the U.S. embassy. The embassy, which at the time was led by Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, directed Ukrainian officials not to pursue an investigation of the matter, Giuliani, who is a personal attorney for President Donald Trump, wrote on Twitter. “Much of the $5.3B in US Aid Ukraine reported as misused was given to the embassy’s favored NGO’s. At the time Yovanovitch, witness for the Witchunt, was the Amb. That embassy directed the police not to investigate,” Giuliani said. (https://www.theepochtimes.com/giuliani-alleges-5-3-billion-in-u-s-aid-misused-in-ukraine-u-s-embassy-told-police-not-to-investigate_3167304.html) Giuliani did not offer any evidence for his claim. The day before, he wrote that the misuse was discovered by the “Accounts Chamber” in Ukraine, an apparent reference to Ukraine’s Accounting Chamber. The Accounting Chamber is an audit body for Ukraine’s parliament and acts as a watchdog over the state budget. Giuliani leveled the allegation on the heels of a trip to Europe during which he met and interviewed several former Ukrainian officials, including Yuriy Lutsenko, Viktor Shokin, and Andrii Telizhenko. Shokin, Lutsenko, and Telizhenko have previously alleged misconduct by Obama-administration officials, including Yovanovitch and former Vice President Joe Biden.