14 Jan 2021 18:46

Ukraine hasn't interfered in U.S. affairs, individuals accused of doing so must be held accountable - FM

KYIV. Jan 14 (Interfax) - There is no tension in relations between Ukraine and the United States, as Ukraine has not interfered in U.S. domestic affairs, and will never do so, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

"Concerning some tension in our bilateral relations: no, we don't feel it because there are no grounds to claim that Ukraine has interfered in the U.S.' internal affairs as a state. This has never happened, isn't happening, and will never happen. Actions by particular individuals must be viewed and treated as actions by particular private persons," Kuleba said at an online briefing on Thursday.

Any person seeking to influence domestic political processes in the U.S. will be eventually held accountable, because the U.S. has a very tough and principled approach to such things, Kuleba said.

"Therefore, everyone who has tried to do this should have realized the consequences of such steps," he said.

The U.S. has made it clear in all communications on the matter that it has reasons to suspect these people of acting in the interests of Russia, not Ukraine, Kuleba said. "This is a very important point to make sure that the media and the U.S. public opinion don't dwell on the narrative of some Ukrainians having done something on behalf of the Ukrainian state," he said.

As reported earlier, Washington put seven Ukrainian private individuals and four organizations, which the U.S. Department of the Treasury believes are based in Ukraine, on a Ukraine sanction list on Monday. The Ukrainian citizens in question include Oleksandr Dubynsky, a parliamentarian from the pro-presidential Servant of the People faction. These people and organizations have been sanctioned as Washington believes they interfered in elections in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury said these individuals are linked to Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach, whom the U.S. put on its sanction list in September 2020 for attempts to influence the 2020 presidential elections in the U.S. The Department of the Treasury referred to Derkach himself in its press release as a Russian agent. Dubynsky has denied any ties to Derkach.

Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the chief of the Ukrainian presidential office, said President Volodymyr Zelensky would not respond to the U.S. sanctions on Dubynsky.