15:54 GMT +326 March 2017
    John McCain

    John McCain Curiously Pleased by Arrest of Ukraine's Tax Chief

    © AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
    Get short URL

    Influential US Senator John McCain, known as one of the main anti-Russia hawks in Washington, has reacted approvingly to the arrest of State Fiscal Service of Ukraine chief Roman Nasirov.

    Nasirov, a high-flying politician who owes his political allegiance to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, was relieved of his duties last week, pending an investigation into embezzlement charges equivalent to a cool $75 million US. Nasirov was reported to have suffered a heart attack after being served his indictment. If the charges against him stick, the politician could face up to six years in prison. 

    On Friday, Arizona Senator John McCain, who has long been one of the main proponents of increased US assistance to Ukraine against Russia, released a glowing statement about Nasirov's arrest.

    "The arrest of Roman Nasirov, Ukraine’s top tax official and director of the State Fiscal Service, pending embezzlement charges is a positive step forward for the Government of Ukraine in its fight against the corruption," the statement reads.

    Praising the "commendable" work of the country's anti-corruption office, McCain emphasized that "Ukraine’s long-term stability and success depend on its commitment to reform, including strengthening rule of law and fighting corruption. I commend the Government of Ukraine on its progress and encourage it to continue its anti-corruption efforts.”

    Last week, President Poroshenko revealed that he had not been informed by Ukraine's National Anticorruption Bureau about the charges against Nasirov, and said that it was a "striking example" of Ukraine's success in establishing "an effective anti-corruption infrastructure."

    Head of Ukraine's tax and customs service Roman Nasirov, who is under investigation over the suspected embezzlement and who according to several unconfirmed local media reports recently suffered a heart attack, lies inside the defendant's cage during a court hearing in Kiev, Ukraine, March 5, 2017
    © REUTERS/ Valentyn Ogirenko
    Head of Ukraine's tax and customs service Roman Nasirov, who is under investigation over the suspected embezzlement and who according to several unconfirmed local media reports recently suffered a heart attack, lies inside the defendant's cage during a court hearing in Kiev, Ukraine, March 5, 2017

    Ukrainian political observers, however, believe that Nasirov's arrest is simply part of an internal power struggle, possibly involving Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk, who has himself been accused of corruption, and of hiding offshore assets in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands. According to political scientist Ruslan Bortnik, Nasirov's arrest is an attempt to push him out of his State Fiscal Service post.

    Other analysts believe that Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who is known to have poor relations with the president, has been the main beneficiary of Nasirov's arrest. The politician's detention has come at an opportune time, in light of rumors that the president has been looking for ways to reformat the parliamentary coalition and sack the prime minister.

    Political observer Petr Ohotin, meanwhile, thinks that the case against Nasirov is a kind of signal from the president. "In this situation, Poroshenko's position is unenviable," Ohotin noted. Nasirov, he said, "is symbol of the guarantees the president provides to people involved with him in some schemes, to the people on whom the cartel consensus of oligarchic structures in Ukraine rests. In this case, giving up Nasirov factually shows that it's every man for himself – that the president doesn't answer for anyone, or support anyone. Most likely, Poroshenko will now be looking for options to escape from this predicament."

    The reasons for Senator McCain's personal interest in Nasirov's arrest remain mysterious. What is clear is that the senator has pushed both presidents Obama and Trump to escalate the conflict with Russia, to the point where Trump called him and fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham out for "always looking to start World War III." 

    On the issue of Ukraine specifically, McCain has pressed President Trump to send lethal weapons to the country, and indicated repeatedly that he would like to see a toughening of US anti-Russian sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. Late last year, he also paid a visit to the front line in the Donbass, demonstratively offering his support for Kiev's war against the Donbass, and noting that the US would "stand firm" against what he curiously called "Putin's aggression."


    White House Refuses to Disclose Information Related to Sending Arms to Ukraine
    Ukraine Urges US Senate to Approve Funds for Security Aid to Kiev
    Canada to Extend Training Mission Supporting Ukraine by 2 Years
    Why is US Slashing Military Aid to Ukraine?
    Ukraine Fails to Probe Torture by Security Forces, Riots in Odessa - State Dept.
    Coincidence? Trump Gives Poroshenko Cold Shoulder, Congress Cuts War Aid to Kiev
    From Asset to Liability: Kiev Blowing a Gasket Over US's Change in Priorities
    embezzlement, support, indictment, charges, arrest, State Fiscal Service, Roman Nasirov, John McCain, United States, Ukraine
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      McCann is running out and desires a legacy. War is his preference. If a betting person, McCann is for this because it temporarily weakens Ukraine which he sees as promoting Russia attack which would then enhance his position. McCann is all about McCann.
      In this he and Democrat John Lewis have commonality - their once glory has dimmed and
      they want it back even if it destroys their own country.
    • avatar
      Andrew J
    • avatar
      Don't worry, folks, as I have it on good authority that McCain's condition is only a temporary one. His proctologist is recommending coffee enemas.
    • Drain the swamp
      saud jubeir arranged for a $1m transfer to mfcains charity foundation in return for that photo-op on Syrian soil with the headchoppers. But thats not corruption, its only the dual loyalty Ukeleles lining up to eat the IMF $15b loan that is corruption.
    • avatar
      McCain will not live forever. It is sad when a death becomes reason to celebrate. McCain has made life miserable for millions of people. Children will play and laugh when he is gone. What a sad legacy to leave behind. Such a miserable life, making misery for others and being so proud of it.
    • choticastile
      Wants to keep Poroshietko in KIev?? Seems Trump wants him gone-- so now McPain, an old hand at global skulduggery, is trying to make his fellow thug in Kiev appear as the honest man he's never been in his sorry life.

      BTW-- McCain is hardly revered by ordinary Americans, the bulk of whom, regard him as an outright traitor -- he's only influential amongst the DC warmongers and nearly forgot the terro's-- thick as thieves with them he's always been ...
    • avatar
      jasin reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
      choticastile, Even Democrats that I know admit he is a Democrat in the GOP.
    • avatar
      Another mish mash of copy and paste articles, that do not flow.

      Is McCain the US President or a Senator?

      The reason he is pleased with the arrest is that he can now brag that Ukraine is not really a corrupt nation and they are trying hard to fix things. Meaning, more IMF loans to Porkie and his oligarch mates.
    • choticastilein reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Thing is most in the top echelons have no loyalty whatsoever to the US and her people-- Only their insane US and global agenda and then too, unfortunately there are temporisers both sides-- DEM and GOP. I just hope to God Trump brings the right goodies to the table.
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyiv
      Few more to arrests to come after Nazirov, of course. But time for Sputnik to talk about all the billionaires hanging around in the Kremlin. When will the russian people get off their knees and remove their thieving criminal rulers?
    • Rick Sanchezin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, the ties between billionaires and politics is not a phenomenon that is only in Kiev or Moscow, but the world over. Be it Washington, London or Paris. The difference is the scale of it.
    Show new comments (0)