“Joschka Fischer directly lobbies for Berezovsky’s interests, just as Bill Clinton lobbies for Pinchuk’s interests.”
The quote comes from Mykola Melnychenko’s recent interview with Obozrevatel. I translated a portion of it:
Obozrevatel: Did Tymoshenko really have other coalition options?
Melnychenko: In all objectivity, my argument is with Yushchenko, too. How could the President use one hand to appoint the PM and use the other hand to put spokes in her wheels??? Unfortunately, as of today, I don’t see in what role Yushchenko can go down in Ukraine’s history. As a reformer? No. As a person who did something outstanding? No. He only has one chance left: He can be remembered as the ruler who took the Kuchma case to its logical conclusion. It’s not just the journalist’s murder. The Gongadze case and the Melnychenko recordings is a wide range of crimes committed by Kuchma and his team.
It is necessary that the Kuchma family repay its debt to the people, give back the stolen billions. As of 2000, this family had a net worth of $8 billion dollars. At that time, Kyiv’s entire housing market was worth that much. Now, using the money stolen from the people, Pinchuk [Kuchma's son-in-law] buys Bill Clinton from the U.S., wholesale with his wife Hillary, the current U.S. Secretary of State. What kind of policy will the States now frame toward Ukraine? Do we need a U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine edited by Viktor Pinchuk? I’m sure we don’t. Therefore, the Melnychenko recordings provide the legal mechanism not only for confiscating the Kuchma family’s illegal possessions, but also for reducing the international pressure on our country.
However, one should seize the moment. Eight years is quite a bit of procrastination.
By the way, tests of the recordings began as late as the end of last year through no fault of our Genprokuratura [short for Generalna Prokuratura, Office of the Prosecutor General]. In the past, the stalling was done by…the FBI. The thing is, in 2007, when the Genprokuratura agreed to an international test, the FBI agreed to conduct it. They did agree, but it didn’t go any further.
Obozrevatel: You mean, it was Pinchuk’s American lobby, the Clintons, who pulled the strings?
Melnychenko: Definitely, yes. In summer 2008, it appeared as if the FBI finally agreed and, in July, I was to give them the recordings. However, an interesting thing happened: The FBI suddenly refused to conduct the test. So, I can’t blame our Genprokuratura for procrastinating since 2007. They spent more than a year in talks with the FBI, and we ended up being led around by our noses. When the FBI refused, the Genprokuratura found new experts and finally progress was made. Let me emphasize that it was by pure coincidence that the test’s beginning came with the appointment of Volodymyr Lytvyn as speaker.
Mykola Melnychenko is the mysterious man who served on Kuchma’s security detail in the rank of major and claims to have bugged his office. The resulting recordings, first made public in fall 2000, possibly implicate Kuchma in the Gongadze murder and countless other crimes.
In his recent stream of allegations, Melnychenko alleges that, in 2004, Lytvyn had a role in a quid pro quo deal pondered by Putin and Kuchma, key backers of Yanukovych. Once it became apparent that Yushchenko would win the election, the two tried to work out an exit strategy.
The would-be deal, Melnychenko says, would have guaranteed Kuchma’s safe retirement and immunity from prosecution had Kuchma not interfered in the election process.
After Yushchenko became president — catapulted to power by the Orange Revolution — his administration chose not to pursue Kuchma. Nor did it choose to pursue Kuchma-era crimes whatsoever, thus breaking Yushchenko’s key campaign promise: “The bandits will sit in prison.”
This, along with other broken promises, deeply alienated Yushchenko supporters, not to mention Maj. Melnychenko. “Only recently did I become convinced that Yushchenko’s entourage was playing its own dirty game,” the Major added.
Obviously, not all of Melnychenko’s allegations add up. Theories abound on his agenda.
That said, it would be interesting to hear the U.S. Department of State comment on the Clinton-Pinchuk connection. The two saw each other at Davos, didn’t they? What did they talk about? Was it another $5M?
As Secretary Clinton struggles to repay a campaign debt of $6M, I hope she does a better job in U.S.-Ukrainian relations — better than a copy-paste job from her husband’s May 12, 1995, speech:
But your efforts will not be in vain, because the course is right, even if the path is difficult. The toil is bitter, but the harvest is sweet, as the old Proverb says. In time, your transformation will deliver better, more prosperous lives and the chance for you and your children to realize your God-given potential. You and your children will reap the harvest of today's sacrifices.
In the pursuit of peace and prosperity, you have been well-served by President Kuchma and his government's bold and farsighted leadership. You should know this: As you build your future, the United States will stand with you.
For America, support for an independent Ukraine secure in its recognized borders is not only a matter of sympathy, it is a matter of our national interest as well. We look to the day when a democratic and prosperous Ukraine is America's full political and economic partner in a bulwark of stability in Europe.