The Biden Administration has declined to move ahead with a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
This was reported by Axios, citing White House sources.
"An administration source said the White House was considering inviting Zelensky to Washington before [Joe] Biden’s summit with Putin but declined to move ahead with the meeting after Zelensky's decision to replace the management of state energy company Naftogaz," Axios reported. "That move led to concerns in the administration he was backsliding on anti-corruption efforts."
Meanwhile, Zelensky said that he was ready to meet with Biden, but he was aware that this might not happen due to the U.S. President's schedule, according to the TV news service TSN.
Biden-Putin meeting: Details
Meanwhile, Biden is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16. The summit will be hosted by Geneva. The U.S. leader plans to discuss, in particular, the issue of Ukraine's sovereignty, the situation in Belarus, as well as cybersecurity.
Reshuffle at Naftogaz
- On April 28, 2021, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers suspended the powers of members of the Supervisory Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, having dismissed Chairman of the Board Andriy Kobolyev and appointed Yuriy Vitrenko to that position.
- The move followed consideration of the company's annual report for 2020. Naftogaz posted UAH 19 billion in net loss for 2020, while the financial plan provided for UAH 11.5 billion in profit.
- On April 30, 2021, the company's shareholders concluded at the general meeting that the performance of Naftogaz's supervisory board and board in 2020 was unsatisfactory.
- On May 1, 2021, all members of the Supervisory Board at NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine submitted resignation letters.
- On May 5, 2021, members of the Executive Board at NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine publicly addressed the Ukrainian government with an appeal to resolve the situation with the Supervisory Board after the latter's members had filed for resignation amid CEO Andriy Kobolyev's dismissal.
- Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Naftogaz's reshuffles were in line with laws. He said the members of the Supervisory Board had received an offer from the government to work for another year. During this time, there will be a transparent and public selection of candidates for the Supervisory Board, which will be followed by a competition to hire a new CEO.
- On May 12, 2021, the ambassadors of the Group of Seven (the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan) called on Ukraine's government to swiftly address management issues related to NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine.