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Trump's Press Service 'Forgets' to Publish Details of Phone Call with Poroshenko

© REUTERS / Carlo AllegriDonald Trump attends a campaign event in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Hershey, Pennsylvania - Sputnik International
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Ukrainian media could not help but notice that Donald Trump's press service did not release any information whatsoever about the President-elect's telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Observers nervously contrasted this with the Trump team's immediate release of a readout on his phone call with the Russian President.

The Trump team was forced to confirm Wednesday that the President-elect actually even held a conversation with Poroshenko, following confusion stemming from Poroshenko's alleged conversation with a famous prankster purporting to be Trump.

Poroshenko, who like Trump is an avid Twitter user, curtly tweeted Tuesday about having "held a telephone conversation with US President-elect Donald Trump." The Ukrainian president has since also had to deny being pranked.

​In any case, all that Kiev got from the Trump team's official website was a bullet point in a list of all the leaders President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence had spoken to. The list comprised nearly thirty names. 

Ukrainian (and Russian) media couldn't help but notice that Poroshenko was lumped in as a bullet point, while Trump's conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin was given its own separate press release on the President-elect's site.

A journalist writes a material as she watches a live telecast of the U.S. presidential election standing at portraits of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Union Jack pub in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The release dedicated to the Putin-Trump phone call said that "the two leaders discussed a range of issues," and "the historic US-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years." Moreover, it stressed that "President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia."

As for Trump's talk with Poroshenko, since the Trump team has not released any information about the subject, media have been forced to rely on the Ukrainian presidential press service. 

According to the Ukrainian press release, Poroshenko "congratulated" Trump and "emphasized readiness to work with [his] administration and to further strengthen the Ukraine-US strategic partnership." At the same time, Poroshenko "stressed the need for Washington's resolute support of Ukraine in countering the Russian aggression and implementing crucial reforms."

Pro-Poroshenko media in Ukraine have tried to put the best face on things over the lack of a Trump team press release, some saying that it may have simply been an oversight, and others claiming that the fact that the telephone call took place at all was "a big success."

However, others suggest that the Trump team's obvious prioritization of his conversations with Putin and Poroshenko is significant. Speaking to Radio Sputnik, political scientist Alexei Bychkov said that he believes the press release story confirms the President-elect's priorities, and that these are not in Kiev's favor.

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"As we know, one of the first phone calls Trump had was his conversation with President Putin. And here we see the balance of priorities," Bychkov noted. "Moreover, following the conversation with Putin, Trump's team immediately published information about it, which did not happen after talks with Poroshenko. Nobody knows the true motives or the substance of the Trump-Poroshenko talks, apart from what Kiev itself has said."

Ultimately, Bychkov stressed that he thought that US-Ukrainian relations "will certainly change" in the coming months and years. "Trump's pre-election rhetoric came down to the fact that the US should be less involved in the role of world policeman." Accordingly, the same can and should be said in the case of Ukraine, the expert concluded.

Kiev has been an effective client state of the United States and the European Union since a coup d'état (supported by Clinton surrogate Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland) overthrew the unpopular but democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. Incidentally, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had served as an advisor to Yanukovych prior to his ouster.

© AFP 2021 / Brendan Smialowski Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speak before a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel on September 19, 2016 in New York
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speak before a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel on September 19, 2016 in New York - Sputnik International
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speak before a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel on September 19, 2016 in New York

A traditional wooden Matryoshka doll depicting President-elect Donald Trump is displayed at a shop in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 - Sputnik International
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In the run-up to the election, the Ukrainian government made it no secret that they were backing Hillary Clinton. This summer, Ukrainian intelligence tried to intervene in the presidential race to smear Manafort, and by association, Trump. Ukraine's Interior Minister got into trouble for calling Trump a "fringe politician" and a "danger" to Ukraine. Later, Poroshenko himself weighed in, claiming that Trump "failed to grasp" the realities of the situation between Russia and Ukraine. 

Trump has been unpopular in Kiev for his promise to improve relations with Moscow, his suggestion that he might recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and his comments about the possibility of removing anti-Russian sanctions. He also enraged Kiev in September by effectively refusing to meet President Poroshenko in New York, citing 'scheduling issues'.

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