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Contrary to Biden’s assertion, European countries were not attempting to remove Ukrainian prosecutor targeting Hunter’s firm

The European Commission commended Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin for his efforts to combat corruption in a progress report published in December 2015. This report contradicts Joe Biden’s claims that the European Union supported his demands for Shokin to be removed due to corruption and obstruction of anti-corruption reforms. The progress report, obtained by the New York Post, stated that Ukraine had made notable progress in preventing and fighting corruption, making it eligible for visa-free travel in Europe. The European Commission specifically noted Shokin’s appointment of the head of a specialized anti-corruption prosecution office, which was considered crucial for combating high-level corruption. The report emphasized the need for both the new office and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2016. However, Shokin was forced out of his position on March 29, 2016, following Biden’s threats to withhold $1 billion in US aid unless he was fired. An FBI informant file claimed that Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma Holdings, paid bribes to Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for Shokin’s ouster. The European Commission’s report concluded that Ukraine had achieved the anti-corruption benchmark and continued to make legislative and institutional progress. EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos also praised Ukraine’s leadership for the significant progress made in reform. Biden previously boasted about pressuring Ukraine to fire Shokin while he was investigating Burisma, the energy company that employed Hunter Biden. Shokin’s removal was seen as a threat to Burisma, and he had seized the company owner’s assets. In an interview, Shokin denied corruption allegations and accused Biden of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs through blackmail. The European Commission’s recognition of Ukraine’s progress in anti-corruption reform during Shokin’s tenure aligns with internal State Department documents and recommendations from a task force of experts. Biden and other officials claimed that his actions were in line with US policy and had European support, despite European bodies never explicitly calling for Shokin’s removal. Instead, these bodies criticized Ukraine’s slow progress in fighting corruption. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace also commended Shokin’s office for its active role in implementing reforms.

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