Ukraine police investigating ‘illegal surveillance’ of former US ambassador

World News | Published:

The country’s interior ministry stressed it was not interfering in US internal affairs.

Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani (Seth Wenig/AP and John Stillwell/PA)

Ukrainian police have opened an investigation into the possibility that the US ambassador came under illegal surveillance by an unknown party before she was recalled from her post in May.

The announcement came two days after Democratic politicians in the United States released a trove of documents that showed Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, communicating about the removal of Marie Yovanovitch as the ambassador to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry, which runs the police forces, said in a statement that Ukrainian police “are not interfering in the internal political affairs of the United States”.

“However, the published messages contain facts of possible violations of Ukrainian law and of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which protect the rights of diplomats on the territory of another state,” the statement continued.

Trump US China Trade
US President Donald Trump (Steve Helber/AP)

“Our goal is to investigate whether there actually was a violation of Ukrainian and international law, which could be the subject for proper reaction. Or whether it is just bravado and fake information in the informal conversation between two US citizens,” the ministry said.

The interior ministry also said it has requested the FBI provide relevant materials.

Interior minister Arsen Avakov “suggested that the US side take part in the investigation”, the statement said


In another move touching on the Trump impeachment, Ukraine said it was opening an investigation into reports that Russian hackers gained access to computers of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

Hunter Biden, the son of Trump opponent and former US vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of that company.

The impeachment inquiry began with allegations that Mr Trump had tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into investigating Burisma by withholding promised military aid.

The FBI has been invited to take part in the Burisma hacking investigation, the ministry said.

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