Tape of Biden, Kerry and former Ukrainian President Poroshenko released in Ukraine

Today Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach has made public leaked audio recordings of phone conversations between US Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State John Kerry and the former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The most discussed subject of these calls appears to be US insistence of the dismissal of the then Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. You can listen to the conversations between Kerry, Biden and Poroshenko here.

In one audio from March 2016 Biden makes clear the condition for providing loan guarantees for a total value of $1 billion to Ukraine is the change of the prosecutor general and the government: “There is a new government and a new attorney general, I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for a billion dollars”, says the US ex Vice President to Poroshenko. This much was known to the public: Biden, after all, openly bragged about the pressure he put on the Ukrainian President in a meeting at the Council of Foreign Relations.

Who rules Ukraine?

The Ukrainian President offered the candidature of Yuriy Lutsenko, the leader of the Block Petro Poroshenko faction, for the post of Prosecutor general, and Volodymyr Groysman for the post of Prime Minister. The Prosecutor general Shokin and the Prime Miniser Yatsenyuk were duly replaced. “These conversations clearly show that Biden was governing Ukraine,” said Ukrainian MP Derkach.

Today’s revelation has received wide resonance in Ukraine. Some commentators are suggesting that ex-President Poroshenko could be charged with treason for having given in to the demands of a foreign power, undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty.

In another call, John Kerry, then US head of state department, said to Poroshenko: “I just wanted to try to urge you to see if there’s a way to get by this problem of replacing the prosecutor general, you know, [Viktor] Shokin because per my perception, he’s blocked the cleanup of the Prosecutor General’s Office”.

Shokin was the Prosecutor General who opened an investigation into Ukrainian company Burisma, an energy firm that had Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, on the director board. A call made by President Trump to urge new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the matter led to Trump’s impeachment trial started last year and ended with Trump’s acquittal in February.

Stefano Di Lorenzo @StefanoDiLoren5


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