U.S. Congresswoman embroiled in spat with Zelenskyy refused to meet with Yermak, reports CNN

6 August, 04:54 PM
Victoria Spartz (Photo:Victoria Spartz via Twitter)

Victoria Spartz (Photo:Victoria Spartz via Twitter)

U.S. Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who had previously lambasted President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief-of-staff, Andriy Yermak, refused to meet with Yermak after being invited, CNN reported on Aug. 5.

The outlet noted that the invite came as an attempt to mend bridges between the pair, after Spartz publicly criticized Zelensky’s office.

"I determined this meeting would not be productive under those circumstances," Spartz said, commenting on the invitation.

What’s known about Spartz’ claims against Yermak

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Spartz recently penned an open letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, asking him to investigate Yermak’s alleged Russian connections. Citing certain intelligence reports, she called for an urgent effort to either confirm or deny “these serious allegations.”

The congresswoman intended to draw President Biden's attention to the fact that Yermak had appointed Oleh Tatarov, a political figure long rumored to be enmeshed in corruption, as his deputy in the fight against corruption. The letter claims that Tatarov delayed the appointment of a head of an independent anti-corruption body for more than a year, as a result of which the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau ceased to function.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine criticized Congresswoman Spartz's address regarding Yermak and called it "an undisguised attempt to return to American politics the classic narratives of Russian propaganda."

In response to these accusations, Spartz called Andriy Yermak an "internal problem" of Zelenskyy’s, and made a number of serious claims against Yermak, blaming Yermak for unsuccessful peace negotiations with Russia before the start of the full-scale war, the disruption of special operations to detain Wagner Group mercenaries, downplaying the threat of a Russian attack in February 2022, and even surrendering Kherson to the Russians.

Zelensky’s office has stated that it has not received an official letter or appeal from Congresswoman Spartz, and also called on her to make the evidence of her accusations public.

In another statement, Spartz said that Yermak should resign.

Spartz represents Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, having won office in 2020 as part of the ‘MAGA wave’ of GOP lawmakers. Hailing from Ukraine’s Chernihiv Oblast, Spartz graduated from Kyiv National Economic University before emigrating to the United States in 2000. She visited Kyiv and its suburbs, ravaged by Russian invaders, in April.

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