Zelenskiy: "Ukraine doesn’t want to influence election process in any country"
- 01 June 2020
The president of Ukraine has asked that his country be left out of November’s US presidential election after a Ukrainian MP published tapes apparently intended to embarrass Joe Biden, APA reports citing Telegraph.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy denied involvement in last month's leak of conversations between Mr Biden and Petro Poroshenko, his predecessor, and told the Telegraph he did not want the scandal to undermine Ukraine’s strategic alliance with the United States.
“Why is it necessary to drag Ukraine into this, again?” he said in an interview over Skype. “Now we are enjoying bipartisan support in the United States both in Congress and the Senate. We have the support of the president. These tapes are not a priority."
“Ukraine doesn’t want to influence the internal political situation or external political situation in any country, or the election process in any country. We are an independent state. The United States of America is an independent country.” “Look, I don’t know anything about the details of that agreement. And whether that agreement was reached or struck or even if this agreement existed," he said.
“The only thing I am interested in is how it was possible to eavesdrop, to tape the office of the president of Ukraine,” he added.
Andrii Derkach, an MP with close ties to Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudi Giuliani, last month published edited segments of telephone conversations in 2015 between Mr Biden, who was then Barack Obama’s vice president, and Mr Poroshenko.
In the tapes Mr Biden is heard linking the release of $1 billion in aid to the dismissal of Viktor Shokin, the then-chief prosecutor who was widely seen as alleged to be corrupt, although he denied the claims. Mr Derkach claimed the tapes breathed new life into an unsubstantiated theory that Mr Biden pressured Mr Poroshenko to block an investigation into a Ukrainian company where his son Hunter sat on the board. Mr Derkach used his privilege as an MP to request prosecutors open a criminal investigation into possible treason.
Mr Poroshenko has denied wrongdoing and suggested Mr Zelenskiy himself may have leaked the tapes, which Mr Zelenskiy has denied.