Mon, 20 Jan 2020

KYIV -- Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach says he met with Rudy Giuliani to discuss the creation of an interparliamentary group to fight corruption and the misuse of U.S. funds by Kyiv.

Derkach said in a lengthy Facebook post on December 5 that he met Giuliani, U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer who is at the center of his impeachment inquiry, 'immediately' after he flew in to Kyiv.

Derkach, an independent deputy, didn't specify the date the two met but the statement follows a report by The New York Times that said Giuliani traveled to Budapest and Kyiv this week to meet current and former Ukrainian officials for a documentary series.

'Unfortunately, our country has been at the center of scandals over international corruption. Among other things, we are talking about the facts of inefficient use of funds of American taxpayers by representatives of state bodies of Ukraine,' Derkach wrote.

'Giuliani's participation in the creation of this group will be very useful to us. In particular, he can help with the entry into the group of international experts, analysts, journalists and all those who are able to realize the tasks of the group and benefit the strategic relations of Ukraine and the USA,' he added.

U.S. officials testified last month at a congressional impeachment panel that they became increasingly alarmed by the role Giuliani played in Ukraine for Trump.

Witnesses at the panel said Giuliani made it clear that a White House visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was contingent on the newly elected leader publicly announcing investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat who is seeking to challenge Trump in next year's presidential election, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma.

Giuliani did not testify at the panel.

The New York Times said Giuliani's trip was tied to making a documentary aimed at refuting testimony given at the impeachment hearings.

With reporting by The New York Times

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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