Initiator of a so-called “cassette scandal” in Ukraine Major Nikolay Melnichenko, who is now located in the USA, addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin for help. The text of the address was published by Ukrainian Pravda (Ukrainian truth) today.
“I, Major Melnichenko, ask you for help because of the situation regarding the taped telephone conversations of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. The US Ministry of Justice sent me one more subpoena to the Grand Jury scheduled for May 9, 2002. I gave reliable evidence of Leonid Kuchma’s connection with armament sales to Iraq to the US Ministry of Justice at the Grand Jury’s previous session on April 11, 2002.
I am ready to help the US law enforcement authorities with the investigation of several criminal cases. However, I can not deliver all the tapes I have, as they contain confidential information about Ukraine and other countries including Russia. Telephone conversations between Leonid Kuchma and former Russian president Boris Yeltsin and between Kuchma and Vladimir Putin (when the latter was Russia’s prime minister) and so on are on the tapes I hold. Unfortunately, Kiev is of no help in the protection of Ukrainian state secrets (I addressed officials in Ukraine in October of 2001). As could be expected, Leonid Kuchma does not wish to protect the interests of our country. I hope that you are the kind of a person concerned about protection of confidential information about Russia. I would like Russian executive authorities to appeal the US Ministry of Justice and ask them not to demand from me confidential information concerning Russia.”
The letter is dated with May 3, 2002.
Indeed, the major already addressed the Ukrainian authorities on protection of the state secrets taped on the cassettes he possessed. The media reported several times about it. However, the Ukrainian authorities ignored the address. Why? Do Ukrainian authorities suppose the tapes are not harmful? Or probably they prefer to hide their heads in the sand, as the secret information is really very explosive? What is the Russian president going to do? Can he prevent the leakage of confidential information concerning Russia? Most likely, some measures have been already taken even before Melnichenko’s appeals. In any case, very soon, the secrets of the story will be revealed.
Andrei Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/06/40670.html