President Joe Biden nominated Geoffrey Pyatt – a participant in a controversial leaked phone call with State Department official Victoria Nuland about Ukraine – to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.
Pyatt previously served in the Obama administration from 2013 to 2016 as its Ambassador to Ukraine, and during his tenure, was embroiled in a leaked phone call controversy with then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.
The two were caught on tape discussing cutting deals in internal Ukrainian politics, with Nuland appearing to favor one opposition leader over another. They appeared to plot replacing elected Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych by installing Artseniy Yatseniuk, expressing anger with the European Union for favoring Vitali Klitschko as a replacement.
“Fuck the EU,” Nuland blurted out on the call, as the pair plotted the fate of the Eurasian nation together. Together, Nuland and Pyatt are believed to have led U.S. efforts to orchestrate a 2014 revolution in Ukraine that ultimately led to President Yanukovych’s ousting.
Pyatt also appears to have publicly criticized the office of Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the Hunter Biden-linked energy firm Burisma.
“That obstacle is the failure of the institution of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to successfully fight internal corruption. Rather than supporting Ukraine’s reforms and working to root out corruption, corrupt actors within the Prosecutor General’s office are making things worse by openly and aggressively undermining reform,” Pyatt asserted.
If confirmed, Pyatt’s nomination, which comes amidst ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, will put him in charge of the Bureau of Energy Resources within the U.S. Department of State, leading the agency’s efforts in international energy security.