No agreement on date of Zelensky’s visit to Washington

19 July 2021

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky will not be visiting Washington in July, as previously reported. Instead, the Biden administration wants the visit to occur in August before Ukraine's Independence Day, zn.ua reported on July 16. The delay stems from Washington’s ongoing concerns over the replacement of the head of Naftogaz. Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak and Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland have repeatedly issued coordinated regarding the upcoming visit, and in statements agreed upon in advance, Nuland’s team has consistently struck “in July” from drafts sent by Yermak’s team.

 

James Hydzik: It is highly unlikely that the Zelensky administration will accede to Washington’s demands regarding Naftogaz under the present circumstances. As such, the welcome in Washington will be relatively cold, and there is no way that the visit will occur in July. Despite the complaints of the Ukrainian government, either something is gained by having Yuriy Vitrenko as CEO of Naftogaz instead of Andriy Kobolev, or there is an excess of pride involved with making such a decision, and this is worth the extended mismatch of vision with Washington.

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