US says bilateral relationships with Ukraine unaffected by recent leadership changes

20 July, 11:53 AM
Now fired Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova and SBU head Ivan Bakanov (Photo:NV collage/Facebook/Iryna Venediktova/SBU)

Now fired Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova and SBU head Ivan Bakanov (Photo:NV collage/Facebook/Iryna Venediktova/SBU)

The removal and replacement of both the heads of the SBU security service and the Prosecutor-General’s Office will not affect cooperation between the United States and Ukraine, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a briefing.

Price stressed that in relations with Ukraine, the United States is "invested in institutions, not specific individuals."

"We are proactive about the information we share with our Ukrainian partners to help them bring to justice those who may have committed war crimes and other atrocities... Often it is not confidential information," Price said.

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He noted that the U.S. will continue to exchange intelligence data with Ukraine, helping it fight against Russia.

“Much of what we provide to the Office of the Prosecutor General on a routine basis is open source information," Price said.

“We do exchange information with our Ukrainian colleagues and intelligence officers, and will continue to do so in the future. This is an important element of our assistance to Ukraine, which helps it to defend itself.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyy removed SBU head Ivan Bakanov and prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova from their duties on July 17, with parliament confirming their dismissal on June 19. The President said that he made the decision due to a large number of criminal proceedings on treason and collaboration among law enforcement officers.

Oleksiy Symonenko,  one of Venediktova’s deputies, will serve as the Acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The duties of the head of the SBU will be temporarily performed by the first deputy head of the department, Vasyl Malyuk.

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