Politics Ukraine sanctions two businessmen tied to Giuliani
Hunter Biden might force father's hand on sending lethal military equipment to Ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine — Hunter Biden doesn’t matter much to Ukrainians, but the controversy that surrounds him will make it difficult for President Joe Biden to reduce the amount of lethal military equipment former President Donald Trump sent to the country, defense experts here tell the Washington Examiner. © Provided by Washington Examiner During Joe Biden’s time as vice president under Barack Obama, he took a keen interest in Ukraine, making several visits, pursuing anti-corruption policies, and pushing for military assistance in the wake of Russia’s 2014 invasion and seizure of the Crimean peninsula.
Ukraine on Friday announced sanctions against two businessmen with ties to former President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, accusing one of selling titanium products that ended up in the hands of the Russian military.
Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council against Dmytro Firtash and Pavel Fuks, though it added that the exact details of the penalties would be detailed in a separate decree from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, .
Security council secretary Oleksiy Danilov said in a briefing that Firtash, an influential businessman in Ukraine who has been indicted in the United States on bribery and racketeering charges, received the sanctions due to "his involvement in the titanium business."
Biden’s First International Test: Can He Save Ukraine From Putin?
For many in Ukraine, the summit between Biden and Putin on June 16 has taken on a quasi-mythical quality. They fear it will be reminiscent of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact where Germany and the Soviet Union carved up Eastern Europe between them. “This is another meeting where the U.S. and Russia will divide the world between them,” said one alarmed Kyiv resident, Slava, 32. “I just hope that Ukraine will still be a free country.
"There is a supply of raw materials and then ... it goes to the military enterprises of the Russian Federation and we cannot allow this to continue," Danilov said, Reuters reported.
A spokesman for Firtash, who has repeatedly fought extradition from Vienna and pushed back against the U.S. charges, did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.
Firtash in 2019 toldthat Giuliani associates had offered him assistance with his legal problems in exchange for hiring two lawyers already working with Giuliani on his search for dirt on Trump's political rivals, including then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The Ukrainian businessman said the two associates were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom have pleaded not guilty to campaign finance violation charges for allegedly seeking to funnel money to U.S. politicians to influence U.S.-Ukraine relations.
Sidney Powell's lawyers argue her Fox News appearances were 'not infomercials,' compare her to Buddhist monk as they move to dismiss defamation lawsuit
Smartmatic's $2.7 billion lawsuit accuses Fox News, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani of pushing election conspiracy theories for monetary gain.The filing, in New York state court, argued that Powell was sincerely concerned about the integrity of the election. Powell didn't just want to raise money through her organization Defending the Republic, as voting technology company Smartmatic alleged in its lawsuit, her attorney argued.
Ukraine on Friday also said it was also sanctioning Fuks, though the exact reasons for the penalties were not immediately clear.
Reuters reported that Fuks, a developer who helped finance Giuliani's consulting work in 2017 for the city of Kharkiv, told the Ukraine 24 news channel that the sanctions lacked merit, adding that he planned to take legal action.
According to court filings obtained byin 2019, Fuks said he was banned from entering the U.S. for five years, though the reason for this was not immediately clear in the documents.
The 2019 House inquiry leading up to lawmakers' vote to impeach Trump over allegations that he had solicited foreign help in his reelection campaign, including by threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless Zelenskiy launched a probe into Biden, included the search for records into Fuks and other past Ukrainian clients of Giuliani.
Some US allies near Russia are wary of Biden-Putin summit
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Central and Eastern European nations are anxious about the coming summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, wary of what they see as hostile intentions from the Kremlin. Some in the countries that once were part of the Soviet Union or the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact during the Cold War worry that Washington could scale down support for its allies in the region in a bid to secure a more stable and predictable relationship with Russia.
Fuks has also said that he hosted Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in Moscow in 2006 as their father sought to negotiate a possible deal for licensing Trump branding for development in the Russian capital, though the project eventually died out, The Post reported.
The sanctions against the Giuliani associates come as federal prosecutors are looking into whether Ukrainian officialsto interfere with the 2020 presidential election.
The probe is reportedly focused on whether the Ukrainian actors allegedly spread unsupported claims of corruption about Biden, including through Giuliani himself.
Lawyers for Giuliani have denied that their client committed any wrongdoing in this case.
Meanwhile, Giuliani is the subject of a separate probe that resulted in federal investigators searching his apartment and seizing his electronic devices. Authorities are looking into whether Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent when lobbying on behalf of Ukraine to the Trump administration.
Why Rudy Giuliani's law suspension is actually a very big deal .
The court has sent a strong message about the real harm posed by those individuals who continue to push falsehoods about the 2020 election.It’s probably too much to hope that this finding will pierce the right-wing information bubble, where 56 percent of Republicans still believe the election was stolen from Trump. But it should leave Giuliani’s credibility in tatters with anyone not immune to the truth. And it sends a strong message about the real harm, and indeed danger, posed by those individuals who continue to push falsehoods about the election.