Hunter Biden’s Father: Ukraine Is Too Corrupt to Join NATO
Joe Biden claims military alliance can't trust Ukraine until it 'cleans up corruption'
Democrat Joe Biden has claimed that Ukraine is too corrupt to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Biden dismissed the idea that the eastern European nation could join the military alliance, arguing that the country must "clean up corruption" first.
The remarks were surprising considering Biden himself, and his son Hunter, have been the focus of years of investigation into the younger Biden’s affiliations with Ukrainian oligarchs.
Most notably is Hunter's hiring by the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings.
Leaked emails have appeared to indicate that Hunter's position as a board member at the firm - allegedly earning $50,000 per month with zero experience in the sector - was directly the result of those oligarchs seeking influence with then-Vice President Biden.
"It depends on whether they meet the criteria. The fact is, they still have to clean up corruption," Biden said during a press conference at the NATO summit.
"The fact is, they have to meet other criteria to get into the action plan," Biden continued.
"And so, school’s out on that question. It remains to be seen.
"In the meantime, we will do all that we can to put Ukraine in the position to be able to continue to resist Russian physical aggression.
"And it will not just depend on me, whether or not we conclude that Ukraine can become part of NATO, it will depend on the alliance and how they vote."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been working to end corruption in the country, said Monday that he wanted a simple “yes” or “no” from Biden on whether his nation could gain full membership in the alliance, The Hill reported.
Burisma hired Hunter Biden in 2014 — an extremely tumultuous time for Ukraine as Russia invaded and colonized Crimea and aided separatists with launching a still-ongoing war in its eastern Donbas region, according to Breitbart.
Anti-Russian protests resulted in the nation having three presidents that year: the incumbent Viktor Yanukovych, interim President Oleksandr Turchynov, and successor Petro Poroshenko, who became president on a vow to take a hard line against Russia.
Zelensky, the current incumbent, baffled the world Monday with a post on Twitter claiming that NATO had agreed to accept Ukraine as a member.
“NATO leaders confirmed that [Ukraine] will become a member of the Alliance,” the president alleged.
Commend @NATO partners' understanding of all the risks and challenges we face. NATO leaders confirmed that 🇺🇦 will become a member of the Alliance & the #MAP is an integral part of the membership process. 🇺🇦 deserves due appreciation of its role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 14, 2021
Leaders at the ongoing NATO summit, confronted by the message, appeared confused.
Elsewhere in the same press conference, Biden went on to praise Russian leader Vladimir Putin, responsible for the colonization of Crimea and fueling the Donbas war, as “bright” and “tough” and refused to repeat his description of Putin as a “killer” made in an interview in March.
Biden is set to meet with Putin on Wednesday and rejected a request from Zelensky for an in-person meeting with him prior to engaging Putin.
Zelensky has previously described himself as “confused” and “disappointed” by Biden’s Russia policy.
Zelensky nonetheless appeared to receive the message on Tuesday, starting the day by vetoing a bill that would have allowed Ukrainian lawmakers to avoid disclosing their relatives’ financial assets, allowing them to hide their wealth.
Zelensky addressed the danger of oligarchs and corrupt business interests influencing the country in a speech later that day.
“The oligarchs influenced decision-making in parliament, the appointment of ministers and heads of state-owned enterprises, and entire sectors of the economy,” Zelensky said.
“Parties, the media, civil servants at all levels, judges, law enforcement, and the supervisory boards of state-owned enterprises must all function without the influence of oligarchs’ capital.”
Reporters during the press conference Monday did not ask Biden about his personal experiences with Ukrainian oligarchs.
Concerns began mounting about Hunter Biden’s ties to Kyiv since he became a board member of Burisma in 2014, but the Obama administration never clarified questions about the apparent conflict of interest that the hiring created.
A year later, a Senate investigation warned Biden that the conflict of interest had generated corruption concerns; no evidence exists that either Biden heeded the warning.
Hunter Biden reportedly made “as much as $50,000 a month” in his Burisma gig — despite no prior experience in the energy sector, according to the New York Times.
President Barack Obama had tasked Joe Biden with running Ukraine policy at the time.
The issue did not directly surface for years, but in 2018, Biden made a bizarre public comment boasting that he had pressured then-President Poroshenko to fire his top prosecutor.
“I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of [Kyiv] in terms of corruption,” Biden said during remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations that year.
“I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.”
"I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. …
"If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.
"Well, son of a bitch. He got fired,” Biden boasted while laughing.
Biden’s team has insisted that Shokin was corrupt and impeding the kinds of investigations in question.
The 2020 election cycle also yielded the discovery of emails on an abandoned laptop, presumably belonging to Hunter Biden, that indicated his hiring on Burisma’s part was a clear attempt by the company to gain access to the vice president.
According to the New York Post, which broke the story, one email listed expected “deliverables” to Burisma including “meetings/communications resulting in high-ranking US officials in Ukraine (US Ambassador) and in US publicly or in private communication/comment expressing their ‘positive opinion’ [of Burisma].”