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That line about Ukraine not knowing aid was being held up
Posted by: Speedy
Date: November 07, 2019 08:21AM
Just one more administration lie.

[www.nytimes.com]

Zelensky Bowed to Trump’s Demands, Until Luck Spared Him

KIEV, Ukraine — It was early September, and Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, faced an agonizing choice: whether to capitulate to President Trump’s demands to publicly announce investigations against his political enemies or to refuse, and lose desperately needed military aid.

Only Mr. Trump could unlock the aid, he had been told by two United States senators, and time was running out. If the money, nearly $400 million, were not unblocked by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, it could be lost in its entirety.

In a flurry of WhatsApp messages and meetings in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, over several days, senior aides debated the point. Avoiding partisan politics in the United States had always been the first rule of Ukrainian foreign policy, but the military aid was vital to the war against Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has cost 13,000 lives since it began in 2014.

>>>

The trade soon became explicit. They were approached in September by Mr. Sondland, a major donor to Mr. Trump’s inauguration who had been appointed ambassador to the European Union despite having no diplomatic experience. At that point, he explained in blunt terms to Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Yermak, there was little chance the aid would be forthcoming until they made the public statement on the investigations.

>>>

Finally bending to the White House request, Mr. Zelensky’s staff planned for him to make an announcement in an interview on Sept. 13 with Fareed Zakaria, the host of a weekly news show on CNN.

Though plans were in motion to give the White House the public statement it had sought, events in Washington saved the Ukrainian government from any final decision and eliminated the need to make the statement.

But word of the freeze in military aid had leaked out, and Congress was in an uproar. Two days before the scheduled interview, the Trump administration released the assistance and Mr. Zelensky’s office quickly canceled the interview.

Since then, Trump administration officials including the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, have tried to argue that the security assistance could not have been conditioned on the public statement, because the aid was released without it.

That stance has crumbled as a succession of United States diplomats, capped by Mr. Sondland on Tuesday, have testified in the impeachment inquiry that the freeze on aid was part of a quid pro quo designed to coerce Mr. Zelensky into making the public statement.

In Kiev, there is still a debate about whether Mr. Zelensky caved or held out. “The Zelensky team was ready to make this quid quo pro,” said Mr. Burkovskiy, the analyst. “They were ready to do this.”



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: That line about Ukraine not knowing aid was being held up
Posted by: samintx
Date: November 07, 2019 09:36AM
I believe it and I also believe the handshake and “I was not pressured” as seen on TV. facepalm
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Re: That line about Ukraine not knowing aid was being held up
Posted by: deckeda
Date: November 07, 2019 09:42PM
So who are the two senators referenced, who knew about the arrangement?
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Re: That line about Ukraine not knowing aid was being held up
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: November 08, 2019 01:53PM
Quote
deckeda
So who are the two senators referenced, who knew about the arrangement?

Graham being one would explain a lot.
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