Trump orders to freeze military aid to Ukraine due to corruption in the country
President Donald Trump has ordered his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to suspend the military aid to Ukraine due to high levels of corruption in the country, senior administration officials said.
According to the sources, as quoted by the Washington Post, Trump ordered to temporarily block the allocation of about USD 400 million for security assistance to Ukraine,reported Sputnik.
The corresponding order by the US leader was transmitted to the State Department and the Pentagon in mid-July, about a week before Trump had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which he pressured Zelenskyy to investigate Democrats’ leading presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
According to officials, Trump was primarily concerned with “corruption” in Ukraine and Europe shouldering more of the financial burden for supporting Ukraine’s defence.
As per the sources, Trump’s fear on the need to allocate funds was the main reason for his decision, and he also wanted to learn whether this money should be spent at all. Besides, according to the Washington Post, the US leader’s decision was affected by his concerns over corruption in Ukraine.
Categorically rejecting that Trump intended to put pressure on the Ukrainian leader by blocking the money, a US administration official asserted that this has nothing to do with the principles of service for service.
On Friday, US media reported that Trump urged Zelenskyy several times during the phone call to cooperate with a corruption probe into Hunter Biden’s business dealings with a Ukraine gas company.
Earlier in 2016, Joe Biden threatened to withhold USD 1 billion in US loan guarantees if Ukraine did not remove the prosecutor who had been investigating his son Hunter.
Suspecting the US President of breaking the law and threatening with an impeachment if confirmed, Democrats demanded the release of the phone call transcript between Trump and Zelenskyy.
However, Trump on Sunday said that he did indeed discuss Biden with Ukraine’s President, but denied doing anything improper. (ANI)