Ukraine vows to punish those who meddled in US election

Kiev said on Wednesday it would do “everything in its power” to bring to justice any Ukrainians involved in efforts to influence a US election campaign.

This week the US Treasury placed sanctions on four Ukrainians who aided President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in a re-election campaign effort to smear Democrat candidate Joe Biden.

“For the sake of clarity – regardless of party affiliation, this administration will do everything in its power to hold those responsible for meddling in US elections,” Andriy Yermak, head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, said on Twitter in English.

He did not provide any details.

The US Treasury called former Ukrainian government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, and Andriy Telizhenko, and current lawmaker Oleksandr Dubinsky part of an effort led by “Russian agent” Andrii Derkach to undermine Biden’s presidential run.

Dubinsky is a senior member of the ruling party Servant of the People and the first Zelensky ally to have been targeted by US sanctions.

The lawmaker, who is also seen as close to controversial billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, has denied meddling in the US election.

“I have never interfered in elections in other states,” he said in a message on Telegram.

The US Treasury said on Monday Dubinsky and the others were in contact with or met with Giuliani in late 2019 as he sought to compile evidence that now President-elect Biden and his son Hunter were involved in corruption in Ukraine.

That effort was made just as Trump himself faced impeachment for his own allegedly corrupt use of political pressure on Ukraine’s government to provide dirt on the Bidens.

The sanctions seek to freeze any assets those blacklisted have under US jurisdiction. 

The sanctions also ban US businesses and individuals from dealings with them, an effort aimed mainly at locking them out of the global financial system.