Business news from Ukraine

US House Speaker works to pass bill to protect Trump

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson and his supporters are pushing for a vote on a bill to end political persecution aimed at demonstrating loyalty to former President Donald Trump, Axios reports.

“According to two lawmakers and two other GOP sources familiar with the situation, Johnson’s leadership team is calling for support for the End Political Persecution Act,” the report says.

It emphasizes that this is a direct response to the verdict of a jury in New York, which found Trump guilty of falsifying documents on all 34 counts.

The portal writes that bringing the bill to a vote is a demonstration of “how eager the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is to support Trump.” According to Republican leaders, the former president has become the victim of a sham trial aimed at reducing his chances of re-election.

Axios believes that even if the bill is approved by the House of Representatives, it has no chance of being considered in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

As explained in the publication, the head of state can only pardon federally convicted persons. Thus, even if Trump becomes president again, he will not be able to overturn the verdict of the New York court. The bill, if approved, could allow Trump to transfer the charges to a federal court with the possibility of further pardon in the event of a guilty verdict.


Donald Trump names possible vice presidential candidates

Former US President Donald Trump has named six people who could become his vice presidential candidates in his bid for the presidency, Fox News reported on Wednesday.

“To be honest, all of these people are good. They’re good, they’re reliable,” he said on Tuesday, speaking about the people on his shortlist in an interview with the TV channel.

The list includes three of Trump’s former rivals in the Republican primaries – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Tim Scott and entrepreneur Vivek Ramasavamy. Trump also named South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, House member Byron Donalds, and former House member Tulsi Gabbard, who left the Democratic Party in 2022, as potential vice presidential candidates.

Fox News notes that Trump often makes such statements without preparation, and this list may not be entirely accurate. In particular, the TV channel doubts that DeSantis can become a candidate for vice president, as the politicians have repeatedly criticized each other over the past year.

The internal party elections will end in June. The Republican Party convention, which will announce the presidential candidate, will be held in July.

The US presidential election is scheduled for November 5, 2024.



International relations expert of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics Danylo Bohatyriov has said that the upcoming elections in the United States will be one of the dirtiest in the country’s history.
During the debut program “Expert Kitchen” on the Expert Club YouTube channel, Bogatyriov said that Trump’s chances to be re-elected to a second term are still rather high, although the situation with the coronavirus epidemic and chaos in the healthcare system may have a negative impact on his prospects.
The expert emphasized that despite numerous scandals during Trump’s tenure he managed to fulfill most of his campaign promises, and in the eyes of his voters he is an extremely effective president, who has returned to the United States a portion of industrial facilities, which had been withdrawn from the country earlier. In addition, he created hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
However, the heavy mortality from COVID-19 and the inability of the country’s healthcare system to cope with the number of infected American citizens could be used by Trump’s opponents during the entire election campaign, which could salvage the campaign of his main rival – 77-year-old Joe Biden.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was certain he will visit the White House and meet United States President Donald Trump, and has invited him to Kyiv.
“I am sure it will happen. The last time I met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, we talked about it, and said that I would very much want my visit to America to be something special for the two countries. With some very important result for the two countries. Something beneficial for the two countries,” Zelensky said during the 56th Munich Security Conference on Saturday, when asked if he had a specific date for the White House visit.
The president said he wanted to re-start the relations with the U.S. “with a clean slate.”
“After all this Santa Barbara…about the impeachment…I want to come and start our relations with a clean slate, so that we agree and sign some contracts, agree strategic things, investment things. Let’s prepare a package of such documents and meet. So now the ball on the U.S. president’s court, but we are always happy to see them all in Ukraine. So I am ready to invite, and I am inviting, President Trump to Kyiv.”
He also commented on the blocking of U.S. military aid.
“We needed that aid, we needed a tactical win in this story, without the souring of our relations with the U.S. So, tactically is how I am thinking about Ukraine. Always. And, honestly, I’ll tell you this: sometimes I reply not how I want to, but in the way necessary for Ukraine. So, my body, my brain, my eyes belong to the Ukrainian people,” Zelensky said.



Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he has no intention of interfering in U.S. internal affairs and elections in any way.
“I do not want to interfere in any way in the elections held by this independent nation, the United States, and I will not be doing it … Elect your own president and do not interfere in future elections of an independent Ukraine,” Zelensky said during a press marathon in Kyiv on Thursday.
“With due respect for the United States and America’s policy, we are not serving the latter’s purpose, as we are an independent country. However, we do not want to lose our relations, we wish to strengthen them instead,” Zelensky said.
Ukraine does not take sides in the U.S. domestic dispute, he said.
“We have no right to interfere in any elections in any country. We cannot back any candidates, I mean U.S. politicians,” he said.
It is a big mistake for the United States and bilateral relations to involve the Ukrainian president in these processes, Zelensky said.
Zelensky denied being acquainted and meeting with Ukrainian American businessman Sam Kislin.
“I could not tell who it was even from the photo,” he said.
Journalists asked whether Ukraine could count on U.S. President Donald Trump under the current circumstances.
“We count on support of the United States above all, including support of U.S. President Donald Trump. I’d rather not comment on what is going on in their domestic policy. It’s their domestic policy, and I do not see any change in their attitude towards us in international relations,” Zelensky said.
The problem of blocked deliveries of U.S. weapons to Ukraine has been solved, Zelensky said.
“This has nothing to do with Burisma [company],” he said.
“I do not anticipate any change [in Ukraine-U.S. relations] but if it happens, we will learn about that from Twitter,” Zelensky said jokingly.

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Another informant spoke with head of the intelligence community’s internal watchdog office Michael Atkinson as part of a scandal over a telephone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, ABC News reported.
According to lawyer Mark Zaid, who represents the interests of this person, he has more specific data regarding the conversation between the presidents of the United States and Ukraine.
He turned to Atkinson to declare his intention to share this information. It is assumed that the data of this person confirm the information about the conversation previously transmitted by the first whistleblower, American media noted.
According to the report, the new informant is an employee of one of the U.S. intelligence services. Zaid noted that this person has not yet had direct contact with congressmen. Zaid also represents the interests of the first whistleblower in this case.
ABC News notes that, according to the first whistleblower, several officials of the U.S. administration have data on the telephone conversation between Trump and Zelensky.
The White House previously published a transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky. The document follows that the American president in the conversation really told about the affairs of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine. However, based on the published document, it is impossible to draw an unambiguous conclusion about the pressure on Zelensky during the conversation. The president of Ukraine said earlier that Trump did not exert pressure on him.

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