Cramer says rift between Ukraine’s president and Ag Minister could help imprisoned North Dakota farmer

KYIV (KVRR) – A published report says the President of Ukraine is planning to fire Minister of Agrarian Policy Roman Leshchenko, the man Ukrainian authorities claim was the target of an assassination plot involving Ashley, North Dakota farmer Kurt Groszhans.

Groszhans was arrested in November.  He’s accused of being involved in a conspiracy to kill Leshchenko, a former business partner who Groszhans claims stole money from him. Groszhans has denied all of the charges against him.

According to the Ukraine-based website AgroTrend, President Zelensky is dissatisfied with Leshchenko’s job performance and says he could be dismissed in April or May.

Sen. Kevin Cramer says the developments could potentially be favorable for Groszhans.

“I think it’s pretty clear that President Zelensky has a problem on his cabinet” Cramer said. “When you look at Roman Leshchenko’s pattern, as it relates to…allegations that are part of Kurt Groszhans’ lawsuits against him…it all just sort of adds up to an ugly picture. My hope is, that it tilts the scales of justice, at least, in Kurt’s favor. It’s hard to know for sure, but it would be hard to look at it and not see it as at least a recognition that Roman Leshchenko is probably bringing a lot more baggage to the Zelensky administration than he is value.”

“We talked to the Deputy Secretary of State and emphasized that everything possible needs to be done to ensure his safety,” Senator John Hoeven said.

Hoeven says he and Cramer are in almost daily contact with the State Department, Ukrainian officials and Groszhan’s family.

Groszhans remains jailed in Ukraine.  Cramer says diplomatic efforts to free Groszhans are continuing.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections