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July 8 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Victoria Spartz stated that the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak may be associated with the Russian authorities. She announced this in a letter.pdf) sent to US President Joe Biden.
Spartz asked the White House to assist Congress in its investigation and provide data on the checks conducted by the US authorities against Yermak. “Based on various intelligence reports, Mr. Yermak’s activities in Ukraine, and his possible ties to Russia, Congress urgently needs to obtain this information in order to confirm or refute various serious allegations,” said Sparts. In the open part of the letter, specific “serious allegations” are not mentioned.
July 9, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleg Nikolenko wrote on social networks that the actions and statements of Victoria Spartz “are an undisguised attempt to return to American politics the classic Russian propaganda narratives about the alleged ties between the Ukrainian leadership and Russia and to draw our state into US domestic politics.”
A Foreign Ministry spokesman advised Spartz not to try to “make additional political capital for himself on baseless speculations around the topic of war” in Ukraine. Nikolenko believes that Spartz, by its actions, seeks to delay the sending of American military assistance to Ukraine, which “the Kremlin is counting on only.” “Manipulations regarding Ukraine and its leadership by congresswomen of Ukrainian origin look especially cynical,” he added.
Victoria Spartz in response urged instead of attacks and insults, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry should take her statement “with the seriousness that questions about Mr. Yermak require.” The American politician listed several serious accusations against Yermak and invited the head of the office of the President of Ukraine to personally answer them. Among them:
- leak of information about the special operation of Ukraine on detention of fighters of the Wagner group in Minsk in 2020;
- poor management of failed negotiations with Russia before the war;
- attempts to convince the Ukrainian authorities that Russia will not attack the country in February, despite the data of Western intelligence agencies;
- the loss of the Kherson region and its occupation by Russian troops;
- delaying urgent purchases of military equipment through the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and putting forward unreasonable or even illegal conditions;
- delaying, through his deputy, Oleg Tatarov, the appointment of an independent anti-corruption prosecutor.
“I know that President Zelensky is waging a dangerous war against an insidious enemy. He spends a lot of time building international support to protect his country, but he has a constant internal problem that he must solve, head of the presidential office, Andriy Yermak,” Spartz said.
Press Secretary of the President of Ukraine Sergey Nikiforov saidthat if Victoria Spartz has evidence of the allegations, then let her provide them. According to him, the Ukrainian side has not heard anything apart from accusations so far.
Andriy Yermak and Vladimir Zelensky, as well as representatives of the Russian authorities, have not yet commented on what happened.