This is coming straight from his mouth…
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said Thursday that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the E.U., “never” related U.S. aid to the Ukrainian investigations into the 2016 elections or the involvement of Biden in preventing a Burisma probe.
Prystaiko spoke as part of the “impeachment inquiry” the day after the first public hearings, where two witnesses said they came to realize that such a connection had occurred — although only a while after Politico stated on August 28 that the Trump administration had suspended aid.
One of the plaintiffs, diplomatic official Bill Taylor, brought new information that a staffer recently told him that the day after Trump’s telephone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, the staffer overheard Sondland talking with President Donald Trump about “investigations.” The staffer also said that Sondland claimed Trump was more concerned about investigations.
Prystaiko said on Thursday that there was no connection at the time with Sondland in negotiations, as confirmed by Reuters:
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on Thursday that U.S. ambassador Gordon Sondland did not explicitly link military aid to Kiev with opening an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Interfax Ukraine reported.
“Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations. You should ask him,” Prystaiko said about Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
“I have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance,” Prystaiko was quoted as saying by Interfax. “Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in the conversation of the presidents. But there was no clear connection between these events.”
In his last month’s closed-door testimony, released several days ago by the House Intelligence Committee, Sondland told the committee that he had met regularly with Prystaiko as well as other Ukrainian officials.
Sondland is expected to testify at next week’s public hearings.