U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his visit to Ukraine on January 19, responded to the case against Petro Poroshenko, the fifth President of Ukraine. He stated that he could not give detailed comments on this matter, but noted the need for an independent legal proceedings.
"I cannot comment on this matter in detail. I can say that it is very important that in any case—in this case or another—legal proceedings, the rule of law, be ensured. As we say, without fear and beyond reproach. There can be no favorites and those persecuted. So that the rules are equal for everyone," he said in an interview with the Voice of America.
Blinken also stressed the need for the Ukrainian people to unite in the face of the Russian threat. He added that one of the Kremlin's methods was to sow discord and divide the nation.
"It is important that Ukrainians resist this. That they meet the challenges that Russia creates and be a united country that has an extraordinary future that the United States of America supports," the Secretary of State noted.
Additionally. On January 19, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The parties discussed the security situation, matters of Ukraine's accession to NATO, and the possibility of imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation to deter its aggression.
Context. Blinken's visit to Ukraine became known only a day before his arrival. After conversation with the Ukrainian authorities, the U.S. Secretary of State will hold talks with representatives of Germany, France, and Great Britain. The meeting, according to Reuters, will focus on the readiness of these countries, together with the United States, to impose serious sanctions against the Russian Federation in case of the conflict escalation on the Ukrainian border. After that, the Secretary of State will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Recall: on December 20, the State Bureau of Investigation served the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko with the notice of charges in case of the so-called "coal treason". People's Deputy Viktor Medvedchuk (Opposition Platform—For Life), businessman Serhiy Kuziara, and ex-Minister of Energy Volodymyr Demchyshyn are also named in this case.
On December 19, the Pecherskyi District Court of Kyiv imposed a pre-trial restraint for Poroshenko in the "coal case" in the form of personal recognizance. The Prosecutor's Office asked for detention with a bail in the amount of 1 billion UAH as an alternative. The ex-president's defense stated they would challenge the decision.