U.S. Embassy in Ukraine denies PGO head Lutsenko's claim that Yovanovitch gave him do-not-prosecute list
The claim made by Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a list of persons who should not be investigated does not correspond to reality, the television news service (TSN) of Kyiv-based TV Channel 1+1 has said, citing comments received from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to their questions.
"The statement of Ukraine's Prosecutor General does not correspond to reality and is meant to weaken the reputation of Ambassador Yovanovitch," TSN said, citing the response.
According to TSN, the embassy said the accusation against U.S. officials is an example of corruption.
"Such attacks exacerbate our steadfastness to help Ukraine in achieving victory in the battle against corruption," American diplomats said, according to TSN. The officials said the fact Lutsenko made the statements to American media do not make them true.
TSN said the response of American officials also expressed the loyalty of the United States to the idea of supporting reform in Ukraine.
"To succeed, Ukraine needs dedicated officials and strong anti-corruption institutions," the statement said, according to TSN.
Commenting on the lack of financing for Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) from the United States, about which Lutsenko spoke [in his interview with The Hill], the U.S. Embassy said their country steadfastly sticks with its obligations, including financial support required for helping Ukraine develop its judicial system. However, the funds are dispersed depending on the needs of the moment, U.S. officials said, according to TSN.
"In the absence of the political will, for example, from the PGO, we are guided by our responsibility to U.S. taxpayers and transfer funds [to programs] where they can contribute to a positive result," the U.S. Embassy said, according to TSN.
As reported, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko in an interview with the Washington, D.C.-based The Hill publication said U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a list of persons who should not be investigated. However, Lutsenko said he considered it inadmissible.
The U.S. Department of State called Lutsenko's claim of receiving a do-not-prosecute list, "an outright fabrication."
The Hill said the U.S. Department of State currently does not fund programs at Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office and that Lutsenko said "the situation was actually rather strange" involving U.S. government technical assistance worth $4 million, which was allocated by the Americans but never received.