Member of Parliament Andriy Derkach has released new recordings of conversations between the fifth president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and the then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, which, in the MP's opinion, provide new details about international corruption and external control over Ukraine.
The recordings were played during a press conference during which Derkach, in particular, stated that a bribe of US$50 million was offered for closing a case against Burisma. Yet, a mere US$6 million of this sum was allegedly reported to the public, while companies close to the Biden family disappeared from the case, according to the news outlet Glavred.
"If one assumes that the tapes are authentic, then immediately striking is Poroshenko's immediate readiness to comply with all instructions received from Biden," Glavred writes. Moreover, he allegedly regularly claimed that he was very glad to hear the U.S. vice president's voice and even once called Biden his "guardian angel."
Safeguards for Andriy Kobolyev as Naftogaz chief
It follows from the records that in 2016, Biden explicitly demanded that Poroshenko provide Kobolyev with safeguards against criticism and actions of the then Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk who sought [Kobolyev] dismissal from Naftogaz. Moreover, the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian state-owned gas company included a personal representative of Biden's interests – Amos Hochstein, Derkach says.
Poroshenko promised the then U.S. Vice President that Kobolyev and his deputies would be immune. MP Derkach claims that Biden controlled Naftogaz of Ukraine in order to earn on the quasi-reverse supply of Russian natural gas (when gas is bought from Slovak companies with a EUR 50 mark-up per 1,000 cubic meters).
Pressing Groysman over IMF loan for Ukraine
Joe Biden allegedly required that the then Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who sought to adjust the terms of an IMF loan for Ukraine, be stopped from doing so. The then U.S. Vice President informed Petro Poroshenko that nothing could be changed in the IMF requirements and Ukraine should fulfill them without discussion. Poroshenko promised to talk with Groysman and invite him to the presidential administration.
At that, Poroshenko tried to persuade Biden to conduct an official ceremony of signing a loan agreement with the IMF before the fulfillment of all conditions and, in fact, the transfer of the first disbursement, saying that the signing of the deal would demonstrate the international community's support of Ukraine.
Seeking pressure on Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Arsen Avakov
On a record dated October 2016, Poroshenko asked Biden to engage Yatsenyuk for influencing Interior Minister Arsen Avakov (with whom the then president had a feud). Secondly, Poroshenko wanted Yatsenyuk, under pressure from the United States, to convince lawmakers from the Yatsenyuk-led People's Front to vote for the 2017 budget and the laws necessary to implement the Minsk peace agreements on Donbas.
Another conversation between Biden and Poroshenko about Yatsenyuk took place a little earlier – in February 2016. Biden informed Poroshenko about Yatsenyuk's concerns over his imminent resignation and possible criminal cases. Poroshenko, however, assured his counterpart that Yatsenyuk would be immune from prosecution.
U.S. supervisor at Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office
According to the recordings, Poroshenko allegedly asked Biden to send an adviser from the United States for the then newly appointed prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko. Later, the U.S. vice president allegedly said that the adviser had been hired but no name was mentioned.
U.S. special services' assistance in handling fugitive MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko
"If one considers the recordings released by Derkach to be authentic, then Petro Poroshenko was very nervous about fugitive MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko (who accused the fifth president of widespread corruption)," Glavred wrote. "He was especially worried about Onyshchenko's possible communication with the FBI and he asked Biden for help. The latter reassured Poroshenko – they say the FBI will not work with Onyshchenko. In a recording with a later date, Poroshenko thanked Biden for having engaged CIA officers in addressing that matter."
As UNIAN reported earlier, Derkach on May 19, 2020, released the first portion of recordings that may prove Biden's alleged influence on Poroshenko.