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Ukrainian president: We will not launch investigations on the order of other countries

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has said that the Ukrainian government will not conduct investigations based on orders given by foreign leaders, pointing the finger at the US president, Donald Trump, who asked his Ukrainian counterpart to launch a corruption probe into the activities of former US vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden in Ukraine, Reuters has reported.

“We can’t be commanded to do anything. We are an independent country,” he told journalists. “We are open, we are ready to investigate (but) it has nothing to do with me. Our independent law enforcement agencies are ready to investigate any case in which the law was broken,” he added.

He also said that his administration would not publish the transcripts of the phone call he had with the US president on July 25. “There are certain nuances and things which I think it would be incorrect, even, to publish,” he noted.

Last week, the White House published its own version of the phone call following allegations by US Democrats that Mr Trump pushed Mr Zelensky to investigate Mr Biden, who is one of the main political rivals of Mr Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Based on the transcripts and a whistleblower complaint made by a US intelligence official, the Democrats have since launched impeachment procedures against the US president.

Meantime, former Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Litsenko told the BBC that he did not know “any reason to investigate Joe Biden or Hunter Biden under Ukrainian law.”

Mr Trump’s supporters accuse the former US vice president of trying to stop an investigation that allegedly involved his son when he was serving as the board member of Burisma Holdings, a Ukraninian gas company. However, there has been no evidence that Hunter Biden has ever been subject to any investigation in Ukraine.

“Possible embezzlement” at Burisma “happened two or three years before Hunter Biden became a member of the board,” Mr Litsenko continued, adding that any investigation into the Bidens should not be launched in Ukraine, but the US.