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Friday, February 20, 2009

Obozrevatel: Pinchuk to Lobby for Tymoshenko in Washington?

Obozrevatel published another interesting article. This time, it’s about Pinchuk supposedly pimping Tymoshenko’s ride, not Clinton’s.

I translated a portion of it:

Adding fuel to the fire was information, leaked to the [Presidential] Secretariat, that Lady Y was “putting the charms” on Viktor Pinchuk with an eye toward having him engage in “lobbyism,” that is, in the well-placed choreography of her less-than-humble persona in Washington.

It’s no secret that Pinchuk is an old friend of the Clinton family, a sponsor of their foundation. In 2008, he was awarded the great honor of rendering financial assistance to the Obama campaign. Today, having won the laurels of a philanthropist and charity giver, Kuchma’s son-in-law has a lot of authority in the West. One can hardly call him the “leader of opinion,” but Viktor Mykhailovych’s* word still carries a lot of weight. [Viktor Mykhailovych Pinchuk (Pinchuk’s full name)]

In Europe, Tymoshenko’s “goodwill envoy” is Vice Premier Nemyrya; in Russia, it’s Viktor Medvedchuk; in Washington, she would like to have this role filled by Pinchuk. Now that he’s passed her “test of loyalty” in Davos with flying colors, literally laying it at YVT’s* feet, it’s even more apparent. [Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (Tymoshenko’s full name)]

The question is, does Pinchuk himself want it? Especially, given his longstanding Dnipropetrovsk-era antagonism with Yulia Volodymyrivna — a blood feud, to be precise. [Both Pinchuk and Tymoshenko launched their careers in the heavily inudstrialized city of Dnipropetrovsk, which became a battleground of their disputes.]

In the Tymoshenko-Pinchuk affair, there can be only one motive: securing “protection” for his family and business, so that, for him, 2010 will not be a repeat of 2005.

Besides, no oligarch can avoid “self-determination” in the context of the presidential election. Everyone has their own way of “giving.” Some will “help” using money, some will help using other resources, and Pinchuk will help using connections and…air time. [Pinchuk reportedly controls ICTV, STB, Novy Kanal and M1.]

Actually, it was on this that Viktor Mykhailovych and Yulia Volodymyrivna agreed in the course of their latest and rather lengthy tête-à-tête meeting. The fact that at least one such “tryst” has occurred was gleaned by Oboz from credible sources in the government. Speakers from the Premier’s inner circle claim there have been several meetings.

The fact that Kuchma’s son-in-law contributed up to $5M to the Clinton Foundation merits no further discussion. By contrast, the allegation that he contributed to the Obama campaign merits a separate discussion.

If it happens to be accurate, then one thing should finally hit home: being “well served by President Kuchma and his government's bold and farsighted leadership.”



Anonymous said...

Well, if Pinchuk contributed money to a US presidential campaign - it's illegal.

Clinton got into trouble for funneling contributions from China. It was a big scandal. Not that the Klintons ever worry about the law - they figure out ways to skirt around the law.

It is illegal for foreign nationals to make such campaign contributions.

Taras said...

That’s exactly my point! It is illegal.

Well, it looks like the Chinese human rights cause, too, has been “well served” — by Secretary Clinton and her bold and farsighted leadership.

Obviously, borrowing from the Chinese govt must be “thicker” than blaming the Chinese govt.

Anonymous said...

Taras, you are not the first one to point out human rights violations in China, in the context of borrowing from the Chinese government, and commercial transactions in China.

If you can find a record of Pinchuk contributing directly to a US presidential campaign, I'd like to see it.

The US Federal Election Commission, as well as US law enforcement bodies would be very interested as well.

Taras said...

I think the loans-for-rights tradeoff will further undermine America’s image as the champion of democracy.

Because of its largely self-imposed interdependence with China, America will no longer be able to take the high moral road to oppressive regimes.

This will be the political price for enjoying the “happy hour” of cheap loans and goods from China.

China is becoming another Saudi Arabia — another country whose human rights record takes a backseat to economic concerns. It’s money over morality, isn’t it?

In Ukraine’s case, there’s a possibility that we might be “well served” with a Russia-first/Chicken Kiev foreign policy. If Washington gives in to the temptation, it will backfire as well.

The article that mentions Pinchuk’s alleged contribution to the U.S. presidential campaign was not written by me. I merely translated a part of it — to inform my audience and to generate discussion.

Anonymous said...

Taras, where are they getting their information about a contribution by Pinchuk to a US presidential campaign?

Campaign contributions are tracked and reported, and are submitted to the Federal Election Commission.

For state elections, campaign reports are submitted to state commissions.

They are publicly available, and are tracked by the public - and by newspapers and media and by the candidates themselves to see how much money their opponents have used, and how much they have left.

There have been instances of contributions received - and returned - when the people who monitor the campaign contributions find out that the contribution is somehow unlawful.

There have even been prosecutions in the US for violation of federal or state campaign laws.

Do you have any way of telling where they got the idea that Pinchuk made any such contribution?

Now, the contribution to Klinton's foundation was finally publicly reported.

But anyone who would use any foundation money for a campaign would be 1) stupid and 2) publicly prosecuted as a result.

Taras said...

I’m just as curious as you are.

Unfortunately, Obozrevatel does not cite its sources.

All I know is that Pinchuk reportedly controls Interpipe North America and Ferrex, both based in Massachusetts.