Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that leaked audio of his conversations with Joe Biden was “fabricated” by enemies, hinting that the current president’s office might have played a role.
A series of audio recordings of Poroshenko talking to various officials from Barack Obama’s administration emerged this week, including a subservient conversation with then-Vice President Biden. The former president dismissed the recordings as part of a “large-scale special operation” launched by a pro-Russian “fifth column” seeking to destroy Kiev’s relations with its allies in Washington.
“Joe Biden is a friend and ally of Ukraine. We should be grateful to Biden for his role as vice president of the Obama administration,” Poroshenko said in a statement published by his party, European Solidarity.
The audio files were published by Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, who also handed them over to the Prosecutor General’s Office. According to Ukrainian media, the prosecutors then launched an investigation against Poroshenko, who is suspected of high treason and abuse of power.
They show the former president literally taking orders from Washington, including from Biden personally, specifically in the case of firing the top Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who investigated the Burisma gas company where Biden’s son Hunter was a board member.
Poroshenko did not deny that the voice in the recordings was his, or that he said any of the things that were on tape, but he repeatedly argued that the recordings were “fabricated.” He argued that the administration of the current president, Volodymir Zelensky, might have handed over “raw materials” to investigative journalists who eventually leaked the recordings to Derkach.
He went on to say all this was done to undermine the bipartisan support for Ukraine in the US and weaken Kiev in its standoff with Russia, blaming “pro-Russia provocateurs” for the leak and predictably accusing Moscow of being the ultimate beneficiary of this “scheme.”
Further pointing fingers, the billionaire candy tycoon named oligarch Igor Kolomoysky – his former ally – as one of the “major sponsors” of the alleged “disinformation campaign.”
Kolomoysky is widely seen in Ukraine as the gray eminence behind Zelensky – a former film and TV comedic actor. He once enjoyed Poroshenko’s support and was appointed governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region, going on to spend a fortune on his private militia and ultranationalist volunteer battalions that fought against the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east.
However, Kolomoysky has since drastically changed his political course, backing Zelensky’s landslide victory over Poroshenko in 2019 and describing an alliance between Kiev and Moscow as the only option for Ukraine.
Poroshenko, meanwhile, vowed to “engage all his contacts, including those in America, both among Republicans and Democrats” to prevent any forces from undermining what he called a “strategic alliance” between Kiev and Washington.
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