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Federal prosecutors to interview Ukrainian gas executive as part of investigation of Giuliani and his associates



The pair partnered with Giuliani to gather information on activities related to Ukraine by former vice-president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Favorov's lawyer, Lanny Breuer, said his client "would sit down with government lawyers." Breuer declined to comment further.

A spokesman for the United States attorney's office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment. The prosecutors' scheduled meeting with Favorov was first reported by the Associated Press.

Interest to Favorov, who serves as a top executive at state-owned company Naftogaz, suggests that investigators are focusing on Parnas and Fruman's efforts to secure business deals for themselves in the historic corrupt Ukrainian energy sector as they also assist Giuliani's work in that country. to funnel foreign currency to political candidates and committees. They pleaded not guilty.

Giuliani referred to Parnas and Fruman as clients, and he stated that he was paid $ 500,000 to help counsel a financial security company started by Parnas called Fake Guarantee.

The two men also assisted Giuliani's efforts to investigate the activities of Hunter Biden, who served on the board of another Ukrainian energy company. This year, the pair arranged a meeting between Giuliani and former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, who allegedly offered information about the Bidens.

After Parnas and Fruman were arrested, Giuliani denied any knowledge of wrongdoing on their part. In an interview, he said he saw the two men "often" and that there was "no reason to believe they were anything but decent men."

Favorov met with Fruman and Parnas on at least two occasions this year, according to people familiar with his account.

The first encounter occurred at the edges of an energy conference in Houston in March. The pair have proposed to Favorov a deal to import liquid natural gas and are exploring whether he will agree to replace the chief executive of the giant gas company Ukol, according to people familiar with the meeting.

A man named by Favorov in The Houston discussions, Dale W. Perry, a gas executive, said the pair had told Favorov then-U. S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was a likely victim of such a plan.

Yovanovitch testified last week before House lawmakers that he saw Naftogaz's current chief executive, Andriy Kobolyev, as a reformer fighting widespread corruption in the Ukrainian gas industry.

Parnas and Fruman assured Favorov that Yovanovitch would soon be removed from his post, Perry said.

Weeks later, on May 1

, the men met again in Washington, where Fruman and Parnas had reorganized in Naftogaz, according to people familiar with Favorov's account.

"If he can remove it, what's possible now," Perry said in an interview with The Washington Post in October. "Where is the rule of law? Where is the stability?"

An attorney for Parnas, Joseph Bondy, declined to comment. An attorney for Fruman, Todd Blanche, did not respond to requests for comment.

Parnas and Fruman interviewed Yovanovitch with Trump at a dinner for top PAC donors at a Trump hotel in Washington in spring of 2018, as The Post previously reported. as inconsistent with Trump's interests, and suggested by the president that he should be fired, according to people familiar with Parnas's account of the dinner.

The scope of the federal investigation of business activities was Giuliani and his associates are unclear. Earlier this year, federal prosecutors in Chicago were pursuing an unrelated case against Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian gas tycoon accused by the pan first, offered help to their counterparts in New York, The Post previously reported.

Last summer, Parnas began working as a translator for the Firtash legal team, according to Victoria Toensing, one of Firtash's lawyers. Firtash has been accused by federal prosecutors of having ties to organized crime in Russia and fighting extradition to the United States from Austria. Firtash denies such links and any wrongdoing.


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