Early Concerns That 2020 Election Cycle Will Sow Division in US-Ukrainian Relationship

Seven retired U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine denounced “efforts to inject Ukraine into Americas domestic politics as the 2020 U.S. presidential election approaches,” in a statement issued on May 26.

It comes after Ukrainian politicians, diplomats, and civic activists called on American leaders in a joint statement three days earlier to differentiate between Ukraines position and the political actions sowing discord between two countries.

“Those efforts advance a false and toxic narrative, one with no basis in the reality of U.S.-Ukraine relations, in order to weaken the relationship between the United States and Ukraine and sow division within our two countries,” the statement posted on the Atlantic Council website said. The statement does not elaborate on what efforts it refers to.

The former ambassadors call on officials in both countries to “to avoid steps that will only erode the bilateral relationship.” The U.S.-Ukraine strategic partnership was established in 1996 and has been built over the years on the shared values of “democracy, liberty, and human freedom,” they said.

“Ukraines success in developing as an independent, stable, democratic state with a strong market economy … advances the U.S. interest in a more stable and secure Europe,” they said.

The statement was signed by retired U.S. Ambassadors who served in Ukraine during the period following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 when the country gained its independence. Among them are William Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch, both of whom testified in impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, as well as John Herbst who currently is a director of the Atlantic Councils Eurasia Center.

The eighth Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, who currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Greece after leaving the post in Ukraine in 2016, did not sign the joint statement.

The Atlantic Council received a donation from Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings in 2018.

This joint statement was considered a response to the joint statement by Ukrainian politicians and activists, Ukraines former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and a signatory of the Ukrainian statement said on Twitter.

Today, Atlantic Council posted the Statement of seven Ambassadors of the United States of America to Ukraine.

This is a de facto response to the statement of Ukrainian public to American politicians and society in defense of the strategic partnership. https://t.co/yhIbEvdZNU pic.twitter.com/YyUiYx8M54

— Arseniy Yatsenyuk (@Yatsenyuk_AP) May 26, 2020

Ukrainian Politicians, Activists Appeal to American leaders

Ukrainian politicians, diplomats, civic activists, and experts issued a joint statement calling on American leaders to prevent “involving Ukraine in the political competition” that has been intensified in the United States” as it could erode the U.S.-Ukrainian partnership based on “the common values of national and human freedom.”

The statement issued on May 23 praises “the combined efforts of the two largest political parties in the United States and all concerned Americans to defend Ukraine.”

“We oppose the dishonest attempts to use the political controversies in the United States. We do not choose any side, but support each of them in the same way that they together help Ukraines independence,” the Ukrainian signatories said.

“We call on American leaders to distinguish between the position of new Ukraine, which stands for the unity of the West and acts to unite democracies around the world, and those forces that seek to turn the political developments in our country into a toxic narrative to sow discord among our partners,” the statement added.

Among sixty signatories of the statement are former Ukraines Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former Ukraines cabinet members, and members of the Ukrainian Parliament.

“We call on Americas leaders to distinguish between the position of our nation from the actions of politicians instigated by Moscow,” the signatories said without providing any name of a person involved in such actions. It did not elaborate on what actions it refers to.

The letter came three days after an investigation was launched into leaked tapes allegedly involving Ukrainian officials and U.S. officials. Also, on the same day, a U.S. Senate Committee approved a subpoena request in the investigation involving a U.S. official and a Ukrainian company. Therefore facts related to these investigations are presented in this report.

Ukraine Investigates Leaked Tapes

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a press conference with US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo at the president's office on January 31, 2020 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a press conference with US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo at the president's office on January 31, 2020 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the presidents office in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 31, 2020. (Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 20 that prosecutors have opened a criminal inquiry into leaked tapes that allegedly feature then-President Petro Poroshenko discussing conditions for a $1 billion loan with then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, reported the Associated Press.

The tapes, which are yet to be authenticated, were released the day before by Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach.

The Ukrainian investigation was opened on treason and abuse of office chRead More – Source