Today I will release new facts of international corruption. They will relate to two stories: how they steal money from Ukrainians with the help of a gas tariff scheme and purchases of so-called European gas.
I will show how, under the screen of energy dependence, the management of Naftogaz and its friends made one and a half billion hryvnias. And this people, close to the ex-vice president of the USA Joe Biden, were patronising.
Topic number two at today’s press conference: how through the banks of oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, according to investigators and Ukrainian investigative journalists, $ 29 million was stolen and transferred to the fund of the US Presidential candidate from the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton.
In both cases, money flowed out of the country and went to corruption and the political goals of some American politicians. These same politicians “sheltered” these schemes.
Topic #1: “How they “knocked off oil and gas” 1.5 billion dollars of money of Ukrainians, hiding behind energy dependence”
Earlier, I published facts of international corruption. Today I am returning to our homeland – to our native Naftogaz, its leadership and the so-called European gas.
WHAT WILL BE DISCOVERED TODAY:
Today I will unveil the scheme according to which:
- Naftogaz’s leadership came up with the idea of selling Russian gas to Ukrainians,
- call it European,
- and for this renaming, they put $ 500 million in their pocket.
According to the loud statements of Naftogaz, Ukraine has not been purchasing Russian gas for several years. There is still a website on the Internet that counts days without Russian gas. As of today, the site captures the figure of 1481 days.
Pay attention to the slide. In fact, this is a counter of the robbery of Ukrainians.
Instead of Russian, according to the company, Ukraine buys European gas.
The secret of the open door is that we are talking about the same Russian gas that passes through the territory of Ukraine, leaves one kilometer from the country (most often to Slovakia) and returns back already as European.
And it’s not Russian, according to Naftogaz officials, only because we buy this Russian gas from non-Russian shell companies. These are well-known facts.
But there is one BUT: Russian gas in the country is often traded not by European, but by Ukrainian companies associated with the management of Naftogaz.
They trade with profit for themselves under the screen of energy dependence and under the cover of US representatives. Their activities in conjunction with Naftogaz should be considered treason. And then we will explain why.
A bit of history
The first negotiations on the purchase of gas in Europe began during the time of Yushchenko. But Russian gas transit companies
- Gaz System (Poland),
- FGSZ Ltd (Hungary),
- Eustream (Slovakia)
- and Transgaz (Romania)
For a long time they refused to cooperate with Ukrtransgaz, citing the specifics of long-term contracts with Gazprom Export.
Ukraine began importing natural gas from Germany through the territory of Poland in the context of preparations for Association with the EU – in November 2012, as agreed between Naftogaz of Ukraine and RWE Supply & Trading GmbH (Germany).
Since April 2013, supplies of natural gas from Hungary began. Purchases were carried out by DTEK (this direction in the company was managed by the already mentioned Andrey Favorov) through the Polish company PGNiG. In total, in 2013, 4 structures carried out gas import to the country from the Russian Federation and Europe:
- Naftogaz of Ukraine
- OstChem (Firtash),
- VETEK (Kurchenko)
- DTEK (Akhmetov).
They used their achievements after the Revolution of Dignity.
So in 2014, on the initiative of the Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Cabinet decided to diversify gas supply sources.
Politically, the decision was implemented in the form of the Law “On the Natural Gas Market” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in 2015.
After that, official gas supplies from Russia sharply decreased and, accordingly, increased from Europe.
There is an interesting fact: for 3.5 years (2015–2018), the average price in Europe for 1000 cubic meters of the same gas that Ukrainians buy was $ 211, while Naftogaz bought gas on average at $ 245.63. The difference is almost $ 35.
In July 2018 – April 2019, the average price in Europe was almost 238.5 US dollars, and Ukraine imported it at 288.5 US dollars. The difference is $ 50 for every thousand cubic meters.
The difference is visible on the slide.
Thus, over 5 years Ukraine overpaid almost $ 1.5 billion for the so-called European gas. Most of this amount settled in the pockets of representatives of the Ukrainian company and, presumably, officials of Naftogaz.
To put it simply:
THEY KNOCKED OFF MONEY OF UKRAINIANS WITH OIL AND GAS.
So, who and how from Naftogaz make money on the scheme with the import of “European” – read Russian – gas?
The largest importer is the company “Energy Resources of Ukraine” (abbreviated as “ERU”).
Rather, we are talking about a whole group of companies in the name of which there is an “ERU” – registered both in Ukraine and in offshore.
These include: PE “ERU Trading”, LLC “ERU Trading”, “ERU Corporation”, ERU Management Services LLC (USA) and others.
- ERU CORPORATION BRANCH
- ERU CORPORATION
- ERU MANAGEMENT SERVICES LLC BRANCH
- ERU MANAGEMENT SERVICES LLC
- LLC “ERU TRADING”
- PE WORLEND TRADING ”(until 23.12.2018 PE“ ERU TRADING ”)
According to YouControl, in December 2018, PE “ERU Trading” changed its name to “Warland Trading”. As the final beneficiary of the last company, Andrei Favorov is indicated. At the same time, Eru Trading LLC remained on the market. Andrei Favorov is not only the beneficiary of Eru Trading, he is also the deputy head of Naftogaz, Andrei Kobolev. But more on that later.
So, Favorov’s campaign. His leadership in the gas market is confirmed by its own data.
They worked, in general, 8% of the entire market. According to YouControl, the revenue of PE “ERU TRADING” grew until 2018, after which it dipped slightly. In any case, we are talking about billions of dollars.
Part of the campaign’s profits went offshore.
For example, from July 21, 2016 to June 23, 2017, the company transferred almost 348 million UAH to the account of ERU MANAGEMENT SERVICES LLC, from May 25, 2017 to July 25, 2017 almost 274 million UAH.
The slide shows the movement of funds
In total, more than 620 million UAH.
These are just the amounts that investigative journalists were able to track.
It is clear that in total more than UAH 620 mln tracked was withdrawn.
Who is behind the ERU?
Andrey Favorov, citizen of Russia and the USA.The repatriate from Moscow to the USA, has Odessa roots, worked for the American company AES in third world countries; Since 2009, he has been working in the AES affiliate Global affiliate in Eastern Europe.
Under Yanukovych, DTEK was invited to Rinat Akhmetov’s company to establish gas imports from Europe. In 2013, he signed as a deputy director for commercial activities at DTEK a contract for the supply of natural gas with the Polish company PGNiG, which later became the base partner of his company ERU. He participated in the creation of the Swiss offshore DTEK Trading SA, especially for the import of natural gas from Europe. He has partners and experience in creating schemes related to the import of Euro-gas for Ukraine.
Andrey Favorov was appointed head of the Integrated Gas Business Division of Naftogaz in November 2018.
According to media reports, Kobolev’s friend and poker partner. Valuable shot, apparently.
So who “protected” this gas circuit?
It is clear that the Kobolev and the favorites could not crank out the multi-million dollar scheme without a more influential “back”. We found this back in the Supervisory Board of Oil and Gas.
On December 5, 2015, by Decree No. 1002, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a new charter for Naftogaz, a regulation on the company’s supervisory board and a regulation on the company’s board.
As a result of these changes, the Independent Supervisory Board of Naftogaz for the first time received unprecedented broad powers and responsibility for control over the activities of the company’s board.
In particular, the Supervisory Board has established audit committees, ethics committees and an appointment and remuneration committee. The Supervisory Board also deals with compliance, risk management and corruption prevention.
One of the main architects of Naftogaz reform was the representative of the Supervisory Board, Amos Hochstein. On the website of Naftogaz it is noted that he advised the Vice President of the United States without giving a name. But it’s not difficult to find out that this is about Joe Biden.
Who is Amos Hochstein and what does he have to do with the gas scheme of Naftogaz?
Among the regalia of Hochstein is the position of the Democratic Party’s chief officer in the Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Trade and the Environment, where he oversaw the development of export control legislation and multilateral trade-related organizations and regimes.
In the US State Department, Hochstein began work in 2011 at the Energy Resources Agency. As US Deputy Ambassador to Ukraine, Carlos Pascual was in charge of the gas sector.
On August 1, 2014, Hochstein became the current special envoy and coordinator for international energy issues. As the chief energy diplomat of the United States, Hochstein worked closely with Vice President Joe Bidenand accompanied him on international trips to promote energy as the main instrument of US foreign policy.
Among the key goals of Hochstein in this post are pressure on the Ukrainian authorities and President Petro Poroshenko demanding that the activities of the state gas company Naftogaz, which controlled about two-thirds of the country’s energy resources, be reformed.
Hochstein did not hide the fact that in his activities he obeys Joe Biden.
“I was in almost every single meeting that Vice President Biden had with President Poroshenko, I was on every trip, and I was on most of the phone calls”
Could the creators of the reform of Naftogaz, among which the fully accountable Biden Hochstein, not know about the scheme with Russian gas?
No, they could not. And judging by the fact that part of the stolen money was withdrawn to American companies, they also covered this scheme.
WHAT UKRAINE RECEIVED AS A RESULT?
Ukraine has been imposed an erroneous model of energy dependence. Rather, a very clear model of energy dependence was imposed. Instead of increasing its own production, there was a purchase of gas in Europe from intermediaries, due to which its price was overestimated.
Commissions to intermediaries are on average 30-50 euros for each thousand cubic meters, according to one source, or 35-50 dollars based on calculations of the difference in average prices in Europe and Ukraine.
In order to make this business profitable, the domestic gas price in Ukraine for consumers, both commercial and citizens, has been raised by about 10 times in recent years.
Own gas production in Ukraine by the state-owned company Ukrgasvydobuvannya decreased compared to 2014: according to the official data of Naftogaz, UGD produced 17.2 billion cubic meters of gas a year, last year – 16.6 billion cubic meters.
A few years ago, the head of Naftogaz announced an ambitious 20/20 program that provides for an increase in gas production by 2020 to 20 billion cubic meters per year. In July of this year, Andrei Favorov acknowledged the failure of this program. Meanwhile, according to him, UAH 40 billion was spent on its implementation.
In other words, they killed their own flow for the sake of their own income.
Because, the more Ukraine would produce, the less import would be.
And the less import would be, the less they would be able to steal on every thousand cubic meters.
Moreover, they are enriched immediately in two pockets:
In one – from shell companies
In the other – from premiums
Remember Kobolev, who did not hesitate to receive hundreds of millions of bonuses and a millionth salary.
A million for every day of overwork.
Just like Prokhorenko – the head of Ukrgasvydobuvannya, he did not disdain a millionth salary.
Look at the slide.
As you can see, the higher the price of tariffs for people, the more salaries and bonuses at the tops of Naftogaz.
WHAT SHOULDWE DO?
According to my estimates, the activities of the Naftogaz management and private importers are attracted by treason: under the cover of energy dependence, the country has increased the import of Russian gas and mothballed its own production. In this regard, I will file an appeal to the SBU about the crime.
In addition, I initiated parliamentary hearings on gas tariffs, increasing our own production and energy dependence in general.
Earlier, I registered a draft resolution on the establishment of a Temporary Investigation Commission to investigate the facts of international corruption of senior officials of Ukraine. Within the framework of this commission, I plan to consider the issue of Naftogaz’s activities, gas imports and many others.
The country trades Russian gas under a screen of energy dependence. Ukrainian companies associated with the management of “Naftogaz”, covered from overseas. The situation needs to be changed.
Recently, the President of Ukraine discussed with the head of the Cabinet of Ministers and others the issue of reducing the price of gas for the population.
So here. There is a solution: it’s enough to remove all these shell companies from the market, taking their profits out of the blue. Thus, a minimum of 30 percent can reduce the price of gas for people.
Already the spiders in the oil and gas jar are accusing each other of treason and corruption, trying to weave from responsibility. The other day, one of the top officials of Naftogaz, Yuri Vitrenko, admitted: raising the price – paying for corruption and lack of professionalism.
According to him, the cost of blue fuel is regularly growing due to the low level of domestic gas production in Ukraine, incompetence and corruption within the company.
Super! But what about the millions of bonuses and salaries from the pockets of Ukrainians? Who will return them?
It is necessary to eradicate this corruption. This will make it possible, I repeat, to reduce the price of tariffs of 30%.
And if the Cabinet of Ministers does not succeed, you can invite Poroshenko, Kobolev, Amos Hohshtein and Biden to the President and reduce the price of gas by 30%, cutting off the scheme with shell companies and Russian gas.
The second step is to adopt a real investment program in our own gas production. Thus, it will be possible to reduce the price of gas even more significantly.
Theme 2: “29 million from Pinchuk to the fund of the candidate for US President Clinton were stolen from Ukraine?”
But before starting talking about the second topic, I want to pay your attention to one interesting story from the life of Victor Mikhailovich Pinchuk.
A few days ago, the Dnepropetrovsk Directorate of the KGB of the USSR co-workers! (I emphasize) of Viktor Mikhailovich Pinchuk.
Let me explain why I emphasize the word “co-workers.”
Because they read that Pinchuk’s employees, in particular, the Supervisory Board member of CreditDnepr Bank, Anders Aslund, criticized the KGB and slandered in their opinion the fruitful cooperation of the KGB of the USSR with active citizens, who later became philanthropists and advocates of democratic values.
Translation of the document:
I, Victor Mikhailovich Pinchuk, agree to voluntarily assist the KGB in their work to protect the security of our country. In the course of cooperation, the well-known forms and methods of the KGB organs, as well as persons of interest to the KGB organs, which I became aware of, I have undertaken to never disclose to anyone. The written information that I will provide I will sign as Valery.
I received the personal recognizance: senior o/y the 3rd department of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR in the Dnipropetrovsk region Kotenkov.
Now in my hands I hold the original KGB agent personal recognizance, which was written by Pinchuk personally.
In this agent personal recognizance, Viktor Mikhailovich undertakes to serve the Soviet Motherland and the KGB of the USSR.
According to the agent personal recognizance, Pinchuk’s pseudonym is “VALERY”.
I am sure that not every one of you was holding a personal recognizance from a KGB agent, let alone an oligarch who finances Hillary Clinton, for money withdrawn from Ukrainian banks. I give you such an opportunity.
Viktor Mikhailovich’s colleagues also noted that his work was very fruitful in documentary terms and asked him to congratulate him on the upcoming holiday in Ukraine – Chekist Day, which all former KGB officers, as well as agents, traditionally celebrate on December 20th.
We return to our second topic. As I said, its main character is the famous Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.
The main character of our press conference today is the famous Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.
According to investigative journalists, Pinchuk is currently closing his structures in Ukraine, including the liquidation of the Victor Pinchuk Fund.
These data are also confirmed by the media.
So, in early December, the Liga publication reported, citing sources in the National Bank, Pinchuk was going to sell its Credit Dnepr bank as well.
By all indirect indications, Victor Pinchuk is going to leave Ukraine. Now he is actively withdrawing assets and cleans tails.
But why did Pinchuk arrange a “black Friday” at his enterprises and quickly turn off the business?
The answer lies in the title of our press conference. International corruption.
There is every reason to suppose that this is an attempt to cover up corruption traces and an attempt to save oneself from an international scandal and that, most importantly, American top politicians.
One of the facts of international corruption, according to investigative journalists, may be the funding of the Hillary Clinton Foundation’s Pinchuk Foundation before the start of the 2016 presidential campaign, with stolen money from Ukrainian citizens.
The amount is considerable – $ 29 million to win from a representative of the US Democratic Party.
Who knows about this in Ukraine?
In addition to me, Ukrainian law enforcement officers know about this.
Translation of the document:
Excerpt from the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations
Number of the criminal proceedings : 12019000000001138
Date of registration of the proceedings (provision of pre-trial case files): 16.12.2019 20:07:31
Date of receiving of the application, message or detection from another source 16.12.2016
Claimant or victim: notices of enterprises, organisations and officials
Date of entry in the Unified registry of pre-trial investigations: 16.12.2016 19:40:57
Legal qualification:(Criminal Code of Ukraine 2001) Art.191 , part 5
A summary of the circumstances that may indicate that the offense was committed:
Chief Investigative Directorate of the National Police of Ukraine received the appeal from the People’s Deputy of Ukraine Derkach A.L. of 16.12.2019 #357-2/180 on the possible misconduct of Pinchuk V.M. arising out of the use of Meinl Bank AG (Austria) and non-resident companies Seisen Trading Limited, Agalusko Investment Limited, Melfa Group Ltd, Nasterno Commercial Limited, Tandice Limited, Tosalan Trading Limited, Winter Trading Ltd and others, using the storage and security contracting scheme to which the foreign bank pledged the funds held in the correspondent accounts of Delta Bank and JSC Bank Credit Dnepr, seized the funds deposited in particularly large amounts.
A person who has been informed of a suspicion, the results of an investigation in relation to a person and information about a special preliminary investigation regarding him:
The legal entity in respect of which the proceedings are carried out and the representative of the legal entity:
Consequences of the investigation of the proceedings:
Pre-trial Investigation Body: Chief Investigative Directorate of the National Police of Ukraine
Name of the investigator conducting the pre-trial investigation: Brusso K. M.,
Name of the prosecutor who carries out the procedural guidance:
Signature of the Registrar: Mirkovets D.M.
Deputy Head of Department
Yesterday, Ukrainian law enforcement authorities registered a criminal proceeding. As part of this production, I have provided facts that the investigation should verify and establish.
I’ll clarify: the investigation should check and establish how the activities of the Pinchuk Foundation were funded, which, among other projects, made a contribution of $ 29 million to the Hillary Clinton Fund.
The establishment of these facts will help the American side to conduct its own investigation and establish the origin of the money received by Clinton. But this is their business.
Now I’m talking about Ukraine, Ukrainians and the money stolen from them.
We need to know how much money was stolen, withdrawn, laundered and as a result was spent on US politicians.
Right now, it is important to conduct this investigation until the relevant structures are closed and no traces are noticed. This will be much more difficult to do later.
WHAT WILL BE DISCOVERED TODAY
Today I will reveal a large financial scheme for the robbery of Ukraine.
I will unveil the facts that Ukrainian investigators should carefully verify and investigate.
HOW MUCH MILLION OLIGARCH PINCHUK DONATED TO THE CLINTON FUND AND WHERE IS MONEY FROM
In 2015, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation transferred a significant amount to the Hillary Clinton Foundation: according to French journalists, $ 29 million.
Investigative journalists from France are quite famous for their revelations. They once investigated the actions of ex-President Sarkozy and enjoy authority among colleagues and in society.
From 10 to 25 million of Pinchuk for Clinton out of 29 million were published by French journalists, and have been officially confirmed by Hillary herself.
Here is the official extract from her site
Now let’s understand the origin of these generous donations from the Ukrainian oligarch.
HOW THE WHOLE SCHEME WAS ESTABLISHED
In April of this year, an independent French online publication known for its political investigations, Mediapart published material.
The title is: “The Austrian bank was involved in Ukraine’s money laundering schemes.”
In it, the author, Kate Matberg, specifically states:
1) By a decision of the Pechersk court in Kyiv of May 2016, it was confirmed that some Ukrainian credit organizations used shadow schemes to withdraw funds through correspondent accounts of the Austrian Meinl Bank. The damage from their actions amounted to more than $ 800 million.
2) Among banks involved in frauds is Credit Dnepr owned by Victor Pinchuk and affiliated with Delta Bank. Victor Pinchuk was a shareholder of the two banks and the beneficiary of the Dnieper and Delta Bank loans. And its share in different periods from the 11th to the 15th year changed. In particular, Delta Bank withdrew more than $ 87 million to an Austrian bank.
3) These banks were granted loans by the National Bank at the expense of the International Monetary Fund. In particular, Credit Dnepr received a UAH 357 million stabilization loan from the NBU, and Delta Bank received UAH 5 billion 110 million.
4) The Victor Pinchuk Foundation is funded, inter alia, through private offshore companies.
5) Since 2012, the Pinchuk Foundation has transferred $ 29 million to the Clinton Foundation, a former Democratic presidential candidate for the United States.
In general, a very interesting set of facts, which should cause keen interest of Ukrainian law enforcement officers. At the same time, the article does not contain references to sources, which may cast doubt on it. We decided to check the facts.
So, according to the points outlined.
Was there a court decision stating that Pinchuk’s bank laundered money through an Austrian bank? It was.
We found it!
In the Unified State Register of Judicial Decisions, the oversight of the Pechersk district court was really recorded, which recorded that a number of Ukrainian banks, including Credit Dnepr and Delta Bank, during 2011–2015 withdrawn significant financial resources by placing them on correspondent accounts with Meinl Bank AG (Republic of Austria).
The amount of non-returned funds from these correspondent accounts amounted to 746.5 million US dollars and 59 million euros – more than 800 million US dollars in total.
That is, oligarchs and corrupt bankers, according to the court, withdrew more than $ 800 million from Ukraine. And Ukrainians never saw this money again.
Here is the grasp of the court.
Investigative journalists handed me materials about the correspondence between law enforcement authorities of Austria and Ukraine on Meinl Bank. These materials confirm that a criminal case was being investigated in Meinl Bank in Austria. In turn, Ukraine has investigated the case of theft of money from Delta Bank AT in the amount of 87 million 294 thousand dollars.
By the way, the Austrian bank, through which millions of dollars were stolen from Ukrainians, was closed by the European Central Bank.
Here is a slide showing that by a decision of November 14, that is, a month ago, of this year, the European Central Bank revoked the license from the Austrian private bank Anglo Austrian AAB Bank AG (formerly known as Meinl Bank AG), which was used to transfer hundreds of millions of offshore dollars from troubled Ukrainian banks.
And why, in fact, I assume that the oligarch withdrawn from the Ukrainian bank through the Austrian lining to offshore, and from there to the oligarch’s fund, and from there to the Hillary fund the money was dishonestly stolen?
According to reports that should be investigated and finally confirmed by the investigators:
millions of the oligarch are Stolen.
At the Hillary Clinton Foundation.
This is including part of the money borrowed by Ukraine from the International Monetary Fund.
Why do I think so:
On March 11, 2015, Ukraine reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a new four-year program of expanded financing of $ 17.5 billion. In the same month, Ukraine received the first tranche of $ 5 billion.
And due to a strange (in quotation marks) coincidence, it was in March 2015 that Pinchuk Bank Credit Dnepr received a stabilization loan in the amount of UAH 357 million.
Here is an excerpt from the archive on the slide.
In relation to “Delta Bank”, the National Bank was much more generous: in early 2014, it provided loans to the bank in order to maintain liquidity in the amount of 4 billion 150 million UAH, and in September 2014 – a stabilization loan of 960 million UAH. In general, only for these two loans – 5 billion 110 million, as the French publication wrote about this.
And now, when we have come to the starting point, we will restore the whole scheme again:
Firstly. IMF lends money to Ukraine in 2015.
Secondly. In the same year, Victor Pinchuk’s “Credit Dnepr” receives a UAH 357 million stabilization loan from the NBU at the expense of the International Monetary Fund. “Delta Bank” receives a total of loans 5 billion 110 million UAH.
Thirdly. Banks withdraw this money through the Austrian Mine Bank to offshore, and from there to the Pinchuk fund. The scheme with the withdrawal of funds is confirmed by a decision of the Pechersk court of May 2016. In general, the damage from this scheme, in which other banks were involved, according to the court, amounted to more than $ 800 million.
Fourthly. The Pinchuk Foundation transfers $ 29 million to the Clinton Foundation, the future Democratic presidential candidate for the United States.
Fifthly. In connection with this large-scale scheme of international corruption, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has registered the corresponding criminal proceedings.
We are now at this point.
Now the word from law enforcement is needed.
What has already been undertaken by me, besides the appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs:
I sent an official letter to the senators, as well as to Mr. Giuliani, who confirmed his readiness to facilitate the investigation of international corruption and to attract investigative journalists to this work. The official letter contains known facts regarding the sources of funding for the Clinton Foundation, in particular, the money received from the fund of the Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.
In addition, issues of international corruption are the subject of activities of the Verkhovna Rada Temporary Investigation Commission to investigate the facts of international corruption of senior officials of Ukraine. I with my colleagues already mentioned that we registered a draft resolution on its establishment.
This case also confirms the need to create an international group “Stop corruption. Friends of Ukraine”, which, in addition to American colleagues, may include experts, investigative journalists, and other competent persons.
Once again, I repeat my position: Ukraine should fully investigate the facts of international corruption, in which oligarchs, officials and politicians of not only Ukraine, but also the United States are involved.
Only in this way we can restore the strategic relations between the two partners of Ukraine and America.