: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Putin secretly meets with Yanukovych over ledgers mentioning Manafort – media

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with fugitive ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in secret over the ledgers that mention Donald Trump`s former campaign chief Paul Manafort, according to Newsweek.

”According to information obtained from inside Russia by Western intelligence, Putin later met with Yanukovych in secret near Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad. Yanukovych assured Putin there was no documentary trail showing payments to Manafort, although Putin told associates he did not believe the Ukrainian president, according to the information obtained by the Western intelligence source,” Newsweek Senior Editor Kurt Eichenwald wrote in an article titled ”Why Vladimir Putin`s Russia is Backing Donald Trump,” published on November 4.

Earlier, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine in August 2016 revealed details of handwritten ledgers mentioning $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Manafort from Yanukovych`s Regions Party between November 20, 2007 and October 5, 2012.

The NABU said it had received the documents from former First Deputy Chief of the SBU State Security Service of Ukraine Viktor Trepak.

Manafort denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer, Richard Hibey, said his client had never received any such payments. Manafort resigned after the ledgers surfaced.

The media earlier reported that Manafort`s firm was directly engaged in a secret operation to lobby the Regions Party in Washington, D.C., during Yanukovych`s presidency.

According to The Associated Press, the lobbying included attempts to gain positive press coverage of Ukrainian officials in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press.

The emails obtained by The Associated Press show Manafort`s deputy Rick Gates personally directed two Washington lobbying firms, Mercury LLC and the Podesta Group Inc., between 2012 and 2014 to set up meetings between a top Ukrainian official and senators and congressmen on influential committees involving Ukrainian interests. 

See also: U.S. intelligence investigates Russian ties of Trump advisor


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