Ukraine's president welcomes criminal probe against former opponent

Zelensky calls for probe into leaked Biden-Poroshenko calls

Ironically, whereas Biden has confronted no repercussions for his efforts to intrude with prison investigations out of the country utilizing United States cash as leverage, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for "abuse of power" after Democrats accused him of pressuring Kiev to restart investigations into Burisma whereas withholding navy help from the nation.

The probe into the Biden family's alleged unlawful activities in Ukraine gained fresh impetus Tuesday after a Ukrainian lawmaker released recordings of conversations between Ukrainian ex-President Petro Poroshenko and former Vice President Joe Biden, revealing the extent to which Biden wanted to get a prosecutor investigating his family fired. The Prosecutor General's Office gave no further details.

"If there is a new government and a new prosecutor general, I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitments for the billion dollars", Biden appears to say in a recording from March 22, 2016.

A year ago in a phone call that triggered his impeachment, U.S. President Donald Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate allegations of corruption involving the Bidens.

He called Biden a "friend and ally of Ukraine" and criticised Zelenskyy for eroding Western support for Ukraine to Moscow's benefit. In a signal that the new prosecutor would need to be approved by Washington, Poroshenko said he would not tap Lutsenko for the job if Biden did not think he was appropriate.

Russian Federation annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has supported a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine that has killed 14,000 people in six years.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to media during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

The Biden campaign did not deny that the voice in the recordings was that of the former vice president, but claimed that the tapes were "heavily edited", and called them "a nothingburger that landed with a thud". The Ukrainian parliament recently passed a bill that outlawed the bank's return to private hands.

But on the tape Derkach released, the two men introduced as "Vice President Biden" and "President Poroshenko" discuss replacing Shokin as a condition for the loan guarantees, but make no mention of Burisma.

Biden has since admitted that he blocked aid to Ukraine unless the prosecutor was sacked over Shokin's investigation into gas company Burisma and his son Hunter. According to them, the recording of conversations was made by Poroshenko personally. Vice President Joe Biden bragged that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had been dismissed only after threatened on behalf of the US president not to provide Ukraine with a $1 billion in loan guarantees.

Derkach said he obtained the recordings from unnamed "investigative journalists" and claimed they were made by Poroshenko.



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