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War
Congresswoman Spartz demands that Biden investigate Yermak's possible ties to Russia. Kyiv calls such claims speculation
9 July, 2022

The first Ukrainian woman in the House of Representatives of the US Congress, Victoria Spartz, submitted a letter to US President Joe Biden regarding the alleged ties of the head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak to the Kremlin, she reported on Twitter on July 8. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has denied this.

"Today, I sent a letter to President of the United States Joe Biden requesting a briefing on oversight procedures performed relating to President Zelenskyy's Chief of Staff, Andriy Yermak," Spartz wrote.

The text of the letter sent by the congresswoman was published on the website of the Congress. It says that Spartz sent it on July 8.

"Based on a variety of intelligence, actions taken by Mr. Yermak in Ukraine and his alleged dealings in connection with Russia, Congress needs to obtain this information urgently to confirm or deny various serious allegations," she said.

Spartz explained the involvement of the USA by the fact that the country takes a material part in the Russo-Ukrainian war, and Ukraine needs more and faster security assistance.

In addition, the congresswoman drew attention to the fact that Yermak appointed Oleg Tatarov as his deputy for law enforcement to fight corruption.

"Additionally [...], as well-known by President Biden, [Tatarov] has been delaying the appointment of an independent anti-corruption prosecutor for over a year, rendering the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau dysfunctional," the letter reads.

Besides, the congresswoman points out that in 2020, before his appointment, Tatarov was under investigation by NABU, where his case was allegedly improperly handed over to the prosecutor and closed. Tatarov was also allegedly a high-ranking police officer of fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych and persecuted Euromaidan participants.

"As President Zelensky works very hard to build alliances with the west and our country, it is our responsibility to inform him if we might have any concerns with key people around him," Spartz stressed.

Reaction of Ukraine

The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleg Nikolenko, wrote on his Facebook page that the statements of Victoria Spartz are "an undisguised attempt to return to American politics the classic narratives of Russian propaganda about the supposed ties of the leadership of Ukraine with Russia." According to him, they want to draw Ukraine into the internal politics of the United States.

"We advise Mrs. Spartz to stop trying to earn additional political capital on baseless speculations about the war in our country and the grief of Ukrainians. Manipulations about Ukraine and its leadership by congresswomen of Ukrainian origin are especially cynical," he emphasized.

Nikolenko asks the member of the Congress to stop undermining the existing mechanisms of providing US military aid to Ukraine. They said that Ukraine interacts with American partners as openly as possible, providing them with comprehensive information about the use of equipment.

"Further bureaucratization and prolongation of the process, which Viktoria Spartz obviously wants, will only contribute to the further advancement of the Russian invaders. Such a scenario is the only thing the Kremlin is counting on," says the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He is convinced that no statements and provocations will undermine the high level of trust between Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Joseph Biden, Andriy Yermak and Jake Sullivan, Dmytro Kuleba and Antony Blinken, as well as other high-ranking officials of Ukraine and the USA.

At the same time, Nikolenko emphasized that Ukraine is deeply grateful to the United States for its steadfast support in countering Russian aggression.

"It is hard to overestimate the political, military and financial assistance that Congress and the administration of President Joseph Biden have provided to our nation during four months of full-scale war. We note the personal role of the US president in consolidating these efforts," he added.