Pompeo to Meet With Zelensky Amid Senate Impeachment Trial

January 24, 2020 Updated: January 24, 2020
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky next week as the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump continues.

Pompeo and Zelensky are scheduled to meet in Kyiv on Jan. 30, the State Department said. He will also meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko and Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodnyuk.

Pompeo will “highlight U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the State Department said.

Pompeo will also attend a wreath-laying ceremony at St. Michael’s to honor those who died in the Donbas war, and meet with religious, civil society, and business community leaders.

The meeting with Zelensky will come as the U.S. Senate continues its impeachment trial of Trump. The president was impeached for abuse of office and obstruction of Congress last month by the House of Representatives.

The allegations stemmed from Trump’s 2019 phone call with Zelensky. Trump asked his counterpart to “look into” allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, waits for the start of his father’s debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., on Oct. 11, 2012. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
President Donald Trump, right, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in New York on Sept. 25, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Because Biden is running for president, Democrats say Trump was trying to interfere in the 2020 election. Trump, who noted that Biden in 2018 bragged that while still in office in 2016, he pressured Ukraine into ousting a prosecutor probing his son’s employer, Burisma, said he was doing his duty.

Zelensky has spoken about what happened multiple times, insisting that he wasn’t pressured by Trump and wasn’t aware of a hold Trump had placed on congressionally approved aid to Ukraine at the time of the call.

Pompeo was going to travel to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries in early January but delayed the trip because of tensions between the United States and Iran. Pompeo was needed in Washington to monitor the situation, the State Department said at the time.

Before traveling to Ukraine, Pompeo will stop in London to meet with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab “to reaffirm the Special Relationship following the UK’s departure from the EU and discuss ways to broaden and deepen trade ties,” the department stated.

He will then travel to Belarus to meet with President Alexander Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei; to Kazakhstan to meet with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi; and Uzbekistan to meet with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov.

The previously scheduled trip included Cyprus, but that is not on the current slate.

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