Impeachment inquiry against Trump: Ukraine's role and consequences

Author : Kateryna Odarchenko
Source : 112 Ukraine

Beginning of the impeachment procedure to U.S. President Donald Trump was a significant event in the world political arena in 2019, which directly relates to Ukraine
09:29, 3 January 2020

The beginning of the impeachment procedure to U.S. President Donald Trump was a significant event in the world political arena in 2019, which directly relates to Ukraine. December 19, House of Representatives of the US Congress on supported the relevant resolution on no confidence: 229 Democrats and 1 independent voted for it. The next step is to consider this issue in the Senate. To approve a decision on the resignation of the US president, two-thirds of the votes of senators are needed (67). Since the majority in the Senate are representatives of the Republican Party, the completion of the impeachment procedure is unlikely. But the role of Ukraine in this matter has already become eloquent and entered the vocabulary of the American politicum as Ukrainegate.

Interestingly, in the entire history of the United States, Donald Trump became only the third president in relation to whom the impeachment procedure was launched. His predecessors were Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon voluntarily resigned on the eve of the announcement of mistrust.

Related: Yovanovitch denies existence of “Do Not Prosecute” list she allegedly handed to Lutsenko

Kernel of the problem

The reason for the beginning of the impeachment procedure was the scandal with the publication of a telephone conversation between the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump, during which the latter expressed his desire that the investigation of Ukrainian largest gas producer Burisma, which belongs to Mykola Zlochevsky, should be continued in Ukraine.

That is why Ukraine turned out to be at the center of internal political processes in the United States, since Hunter Biden, the son of the most likely Democratic candidate for the post of US President Joe Biden, once worked on its supervisory board.


For me personally, the beginning of the impeachment procedure was not a complete surprise, since I attended the inauguration of Donald Trump and observed protests in Washington at the same time.

Manifestations of protest against Donald Trump, personified in the United States by the Democratic Party and its supporters, began immediately after his victory and assumption of office. Democrats maximized the history of the telephone conversation between the Ukrainian and American presidents, made it public and accused Trump of putting pressure on Zelensky under the “service for service” scheme.

That is, he insisted on the investigation of the Burisma case in order to inflict reputation losses on Biden, his main electoral competitor. In exchange, Donald Trump would have agreed to provide assistance to Ukraine, in particular in the military sphere, in the amount of $ 391 million.

Related: Trump on Yovanovitch: Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her

Representatives of the Republican Party and Donald Trump believe that during the presidency of Barack Obama, Joe Biden put pressure on Ukraine and thus created preferential conditions for his son’s business in the Ukrainian company.

The testimony in the case of impeachment was given before the US House of Representatives by influential American officials.

Former US special envoy for talks on Ukraine, Kurt Volker, testified in the US Congress and said that during the conversation that followed the telephone conversation between Presidents Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, he "called on the Ukrainian leadership not to interfere in US policy."

During the testimony of Donald Trump on issues of Russia and Ukraine, Fiona Hill drew attention to the fact that US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and Trump's adviser Rudi Giuliani violated the rules of the White House and the National Security Council, as they “conducted a shadow policy with regard to Ukraine.”

Fiona Hill also testified that she “was not familiar with some aspects of the scandal with Ukraine.”

Vanity Fair

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who at the time of testimony was already in a confrontational relationship with Donald Trump, stressed that in Ukraine she had to face enormous challenges, in particular, in overcoming corruption.

At the same time, she noted that during her tenure as ambassador in the fight against Ukrainian corruption, significant progress has been made.

Yovanovitch completely denied the accusations of ex-Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko of allegedly providing him with lists of people who should not be prosecuted.

Yuriy Lutsenko informally sided with Donald Trump and accused Yovanovitch of receiving illegal instructions from her and interfering in the activities of the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine.

Related: Ukrainehate: House of Representatives publishes transcript of Yovanovitch, McKinley questioning

Diplomatic failure of Ukraine

It is important to understand that the telephone conversation between the presidents of the two countries took place on July 25. And on July 19, Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on the dismissal of Valeriy Chaly from the post of Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States.

Volodymyr Yelchenko, the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States, was appointed to the post by presidential decree only on December 18.

This indicates a serious diplomatic failure in this important area. And this is another evidence of the virtual helplessness of the new Ukrainian diplomacy in such an important plane of foreign policy.

We all need to understand that the conflict between Trump and Biden, Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress is not a Ukrainian issue, and it is by no means worth interfering in this process.

Related: Why Ukrainegate is nothing like Russiagate

Implications and future vision

As a result of wide publicity, Ukraine has become a toxic country in international relations. The process of establishing a dialogue has become much more complicated. This directly affects the country's reputation, the volume of attraction of American investments, the establishment of interconnections in trade and other important areas.

After this scandal, it became much more difficult to organize meetings with congressmen to exchange experiences and cooperation. It is necessary to fill in a large number of papers; verification of the composition of the delegation takes much longer.

Officials in the United States are afraid to even accidentally meet people who may be toxic or who have potential reputation risks. In order to avoid future scandals and reputational losses, official meetings of the interstate level should be thoroughly prepared. World players should not perceive Ukraine as a state that does not have its own foreign policy interests and is a "bargaining chip" in big politics.

Ukraine, as a large European country with significant potential and resources, should not be a subject, but an object of international politics with clearly defined own interests.

Of course, only specialists with experience and relevant knowledge can carry out a competent policy at the level of central authorities. National interests should be an absolute priority in addressing foreign policy issues.

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