“Ukrgate” Sideswipes Joe Biden’s 2020 Election Hopes

The scandal that already smashed into smithereens the political career of one of the long-term leaders of US Democratic Party Joseph Biden, who expressed his intention to run for the presidency, develops in two directions independent from each other.

The first and the most sensitive thing for the politician are the charges of unseemly behaviour and sexist escapades that were made public by several women at the same time. Such claims in America automatically deprive the accused of any prospects — in business, in Hollywood, and especially in politics. But we are interested in other aspect of the scandal, because it is closely connected to Ukraine.

The American “The Hill” agency simultaneously published a whole series of materials about Biden’s activity in the Ukrainian direction. In one of the articles Biden is reproached for the fact that in 2016 he blackmail Petro Poroshenko into dismissing the Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin from the post he held at the time. Actually, this episode was also not a secret. Biden himself described it in detail in the book of his memoirs. Here is how fascinating a conversation that took place between it and the president of Ukraine was: “I said: “‘You will not receive one billion’. I looked at them and said: ‘I leave in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, then you will not receive the money’.” The American official justified his unprecedented demand by the fact that Shokin allegedly fought against corruption insufficiently actively.

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However, the author of the article, the journalist John Solomon, claims the total opposite. According to him, Shokin told him that Biden’s desire to close the criminal case against his son Hunter – who was either the co-owner, or top manager, or both at the same time of the scandalous gas-producing company “Burisma” – was the background behind the dismissal of the Prosecutor General. It is the largest holding company that is engaged in the exploration, production, and sale of hydrocarbons. This business feeds many eminent foreigners. Besides Biden Jr., the former president of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and Joseph Cofer Black – the former head of the CIA anti-terrorist center and special envoy on the fight against terrorism – also are on the board of directors of the company. And the main shareholder of the company, and in fact its owner, is the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine (under Yanukovych) Zlochevsky, whose criminal case is a priority one for the Prosecutor-General’s Office – it is opened, and then closed on a loop.

John Solomon clearly points to the direct interest of Biden in the business of his son bringing the maximum income: “US banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia”. The dismissed Shokin had a large volume of compromising evidence on Biden Jr., and he paid the price because of this. The case against “Burisma” at the same time was transferred to the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine – closely controlled by Washington, which quickly closed it.

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Yury Lutsenko, who replaced Shokin as the Prosecutor General, some time after started a new investigation and, apparently, very much succeeded in collecting compromising information. Now he intends to leak the information that exposes both Bidens’ involvement in corruption to the new US Attorney General William Barr. The Ukrainian leadership thus tries to make amends to Donald Trump, whose campaign headquarters leader Paul Manafort was compromised by them in 2016, having given the Democrat Party a list of persons who were being “fed” by the Party of Regions. The name of Manafort appeared in it. Having chosen as an ally the party that lost the US presidential election, Petro Poroshenko now tries to play on Trump’s side, destroying the reputation of his potential rival in the 2020 electoral campaign.

It is doubtful that Trump, who is considered to be a very vindictive person, easily forgot about the latest offences just like that. Whether or not he is ready to forgive the Ukrainian leader will be shown by the results of the second round of voting. However, the value of the gift that was now handed over by the Ukrainians is incredibly high. Only a squash mark remains from “Old Joe”. If he does not withdraw his candidacy, then he will continue to be trampled in the soil, especially since there is more than enough basis for this purpose. The firm of his son is far from being the last pen stroke in the history of relations between one of the leaders of the American democrats and the Ukrainian authorities. The Kiev political scientist Denis Gaevsky said in an interview to the Russian online newspaper “Vzglyad”: “Information surfaced in the media about Biden and Kolomoisky possibly being involved in the plunder of the $1.8 billion that the IMF allocated to Ukraine in 2014-2015”. If this accusation finds confirmation, then Biden will not get off with just the crash of his political career. He, like Manafort at the time, will be obliged to go to prison long term. Well, and it is clear that such information will indirectly strike Kolomoisky’s candidate – the actor Vladimir Zelensky.

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“Ukrgate”, blazing in Washington, very seriously strengthened Donald Trump’s position, because, on the one hand, it showed that it’s not at all Moscow that interfered in the American elections, but Kiev, and on the other hand – he removes from the path his strongest competitor in the upcoming elections. This time the Ukrainian authorities, seemingly, made a correct bet. Whether or not it will help Poroshenko receive new “permission to reign” from Washington, we will find out very soon.

Andrey Babitsky

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