"Bidengate" has just begun / News / News agency Inforos
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"Bidengate" has just begun

Phone conversations between Biden and Poroshenko have brought Ukraine to the "minefield" of US policy

"Bidengate" has just begun

The subject of troubled relations between the United States and Ukraine will apparently once again take center stage both in Kiev and in Washington. The reason for the next scandal that broke out in Kiev, was last Tuesday's publication by Verkhovna Rada deputy Andrii Derkach of voice recordings. Dating back to 2015-2016, those show voices very similar to Ukrainian ex-President Petro Poroshenko, former US Vice-President Joe Biden, and US ex-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Participants in the conversation had a dynamic discussion of Ukraine's internal policy, particularly the resignation of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who then investigated the illegal activities of Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma, where Biden's son Hunter worked, as well as Kiev's fulfillment of the IMF conditions, personnel decisions and US funding of Ukrainian parties.

The conversation reveals Poroshenko's having actually coordinated his actions with the American high-ranking officials. According to deputy Derkach, audio recordings appear as a sufficient warranty for charging Petro Poroshenko with high treason. Moreover, the scandal may play into the hands of the current head of the White House, Donald Trump, for whom Joe Biden is the number one competitor in the upcoming presidential election due on November 3 this year.

Journalists have already compared the showdown of these recordings to a bombshell effect. Although on a large scale, they do contain no super-revelations. Everyone closely following the situation in Ukraine understands the country's being externally operated by the United States. The only new fact was maybe the American purchase of three out of the five Verkhovna Rada factions, which was an issue to Poroshenko.

By the way, the Ukrainian authorities have already provided their first response to publishing these records. The office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine initiated a case of high treason and abuse of power against the country's former President Petro Poroshenko. However, experts believe that the ex-head of Ukraine, who does already have one and a half dozen criminal cases against him, will get away with it this time either.

As for Democrat Joe Biden, this scandal may seriously damage his presidential ambitions. Most likely, this is why the United States has not yet responded to the publication of Poroshenko's phone conversations with Biden and Kerry. The American media keep mum, as if on cue. Only two outlets – the Washington Post and the Daily Beast – have published small items to this effect. And even then with reservations that the recordings were published by Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach, a former member of the pro-Russian faction, who also met with Trump's guy Rudolph Giuliani in Kiev last year. And that's about it.

The explanation for this silence in the American press is quite simple to find – nearly all the mainstream media in the United States are controlled by the Democratic Party and it does not intend to deliberately "ruin" its candidate and Donald Trump's only real competitor for the presidential chair, Joe Biden. Hence the deathly silence of the American media. Their reaction to this scandal in Ukraine can be compared to that the United States displays when responding to similar events in the so-called "banana republics".

However, let's think again. It is entirely possible that President Trump's team has not yet fully realized its gain from the scandal. As soon as this happens, the White House is expected to launch an offensive, which the Democrats seem to be scared of. Today, any mention of Biden's engagement in the events in Ukraine is a kind of "minefield" and a red line for American policy that should not be stepped across. The Democrats hate the Trump administration to cross this line. They now stand up for Biden and believe that the issue of Ukraine can become one of the incumbent President's bargaining chips.

It is worth pointing out that after a purge within the State Department and the National Security Council of the United States, the Trump administration managed to establish ties with President of Ukraine Zelensky and his team. All this was and is being done as part of the campaign to promote compromising information on Biden. According to experts, all the present-day economic and military assistance to Ukraine depends entirely on Republican Trump, while ideologically and politically Kiev is a lot closer to the Democrats.

Apparently, a real struggle of opposition research has now begun ahead of the US presidential election. Suffice it to recall the revelation of the 57 documents of the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Democrat Adam Schiff. He virtually led the inquiry into Russia's "interference" in the election of 2016, which began immediately after Trump's inauguration in January 2017 and ended in next March with a report testifying to the failure of any evidence of Trump's collusion with the Kremlin. However, the fact remains that the Intelligence Committee has galvanized the "Russian trail", which is a certain form of defending Joe Biden from "Ukrainian" accusations.

Now we should obviously expect a reaction from the White House to the publication of Biden and Kerry's phone conversations with Poroshenko. Although still not available, it will appear in any case, and it will certainly be tough. Just the sort of thing Donald Trump would do himself. Especially considering that the "case study for Ukraine" is also an opportunity to rehabilitate Trump. Suffice it to recall that Ukraine became the number one topic in the American media six months ago.

It was with this country that the attempt to impeach the current head of the White House was connected with. Opposition leaders tried to prove that the latter tried to pressure the Ukrainian leadership to yield dirt on Joe Biden, one of the presidential candidates. Since then, the issue of impeachment has been sidelined and almost forgotten, with Biden becoming the de facto common candidate of the Democratic Party. And now a new scandal in Ukraine may give Donald Trump a winning hand able to remove Joe Biden from the card table – for which read the presidential race.

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