Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will travel to Ukraine in August on behalf of President Joe Biden.
Interfax-Ukraine reported Buttigieg “will represent the United States at the Crimean Platform summit to be held in Kyiv on August 23,” citing Ukrainian lawmaker Mustafa Dzhemilev.
“I met with (former United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations) Kurt Volker, and he said that for a number of reasons Biden would not come,” Dzhemilev said.
“And besides, Biden has a specific relationship with Ukraine because of Trump election campaign, so because of this, most likely, he will not come. Even if he really wants to, his entourage will try to dissuade him,” he added, according to the site.
Ukrinform reported Dzhemilev making similar statements, and cited Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent saying the United States “would be headed by members of the government at the Crimean Platform summit.”
The German Marshall Fund of the United States said the August event is “a high-profile summit to mobilize a more effective international response to Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea”:
Seven years later, Moscow continues to turn the peninsula into a military fortress from where it expands its influence over the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Russia’s occupation violates Ukrainian sovereignty and constitutes military and geopolitical risk for Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic partners. The Embassy of Ukraine in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund has organized this event to discuss the available mechanisms for states and international organizations to facilitate a prompt and coordinated response to these unremedied problems.
Ukraine became a subject of the 2020 presidential election when it was revealed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, had participated on the governing board of the energy company Burisma, despite lacking knowledge or experience in the industry.
During the Democrat primaries, Buttigieg claimed Biden’s involvement created “the appearance of a conflict” by “pushing for anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine while his son served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company,” CNBC reported.