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Pompeo to meet with Zelensky in Ukraine amid impeachment trial

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet next week with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, a sit down that could coincide with Senate deliberations over whether to remove President Trump for his conduct toward Ukraine.

The State Department said Friday that Pompeo will meet with Zelensky on Thursday as part of a weeklong trip to Europe and Central Asia. He will also meet with the Ukrainian foreign minister and defense minister while in Kyiv and attend a wreath-laying ceremony to honor those who have died fighting Russia in the Donbass region.

Pompeo was originally scheduled to travel to Ukraine in early January, but he postponed that trip amid a flare-up in tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

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The visit will be closely watched given the central role Ukraine plays in Trump’s impeachment.

The House impeached Trump last month on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after alleging he tied a White House meeting and security aid for Ukraine to the country announcing investigations into his political rivals.

The impeachment inquiry was triggered by a whistleblower complaint over a July 25 phone call in which Trump urged Zelensky to “look into” former Vice President Joe Biden and an unfounded conspiracy theory related to the 2016 election.

Pompeo has come under scrutiny for his role in the controversy after he admitted he was on the July 25 call and after U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified that “everyone was in the loop” on the Ukraine matter.

Democrats have subpoenaed Pompeo for documents related to the impeachment proceedings, but the secretary of State has said he will testify in the Senate only if the law requires him to.

In addition to his stop in Ukraine, Pompeo will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on Wednesday, followed by meetings in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Pompeo is also scheduled to meet with the president of Belarus, a development that comes as the Trump administration is said to be considering adding the country to its list of nations covered by a travel ban.

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