A decree on the dismissal of Ruslan Demchenko from the position of First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, has been published on the website of the Head of State.

Since June 16, 2020, Ruslan Demchenko was the deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), and worked as the first deputy minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine, adviser to the president, and extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro.

As of today, Monday, July 25, information about Demchenko appears to have been removed from the NSDC website.

Demchenko is suspected of having lobbied for the “Kharkiv agreements” back in 2010. According to these agreements, signed between Kyiv and Moscow in April of that year, Russia was allowed to extend the basing of its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol until 2042. This concession on Ukraine’s part is believed to have contributed to Russia’s eventual annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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In March 2021, after the NSDC considered the issue of responsibility for the adoption of the Kharkiv agreements, journalist and chairman of the “Voice” parliamentary faction, Serhiy Rakhmanin, pointed at Demchenko as the alleged main lobbyist of these pro-Russian agreements.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Demchenko is responsible for bilateral relations with Russia 6 days after the signing of the agreement. However, it was officially denied.

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In addition, investigative journalists have previously claimed that Demchenko had been subject to lustration, but his name disappeared from the website of the Ministry of Justice, where he had been listed on the list of persons prohibited from holding public office.

However, according to the head of state’s spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov, the president’s decision to replace the first deputy secretary of the NSDC was made solely because of Ruslan Demchenko’s health.

“The war mobilized not only our army, but also all of us, all state bodies,” Zelensky said. “We are all working at the limit of our capabilities right now. Unfortunately, the state of health of Mr. Demchenko does not allow him to work with such a load now.”

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