Paul Manafort, former political strategist of the Party of Regions and former head of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign had lobbied many European politicians for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s interests. One of these politicians might be former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, reported the Austrian newspaper Kurier.
The FBI's indictment against Manafort does not include the names of European politicians, whom Manafort paid more than $2 million for supporting positions more convenient to Ukraine. However, it mentions the "Habsburg group" of politicians, led by the "former European Chancellor", who actively interacted with Manafort in 2012-2013.
On Sunday, Austrian media reported that this situation involved Alfred Gusenbauer, who was Austrian chancellor in 2007-2008. At the same time, the possibility that other "former European chancellors" were involved was rejected because of the lack of activity on their part in the context of Ukraine in 2012-13. Gusenbauer himself denies his possible involvement in the lobbying of Yanukovych's interests.
"I did not conduct any activity in favor of Yanukovych or the Party of Regions," he said, insisting that his interest in 2012-13 was Ukraine's rapprochement with Europe. "I participated in public events in Paris, Brussels and Berlin to ensure the signing of an Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU," the former Chancellor said and added that after Yanukovych's refusal to sign the association, he stopped.
Gusenbauer confirmed that after that he met twice or three times with Manafort at various events, including in Washington, but refused to talk about receiving funds from him.
Manafort is the central figure in the investigation of the special adviser Robert Mueller about a possible collusion between the team of Donald Trump and Russia, in part because of the numerous ties between Manafort and the Russians and his work with former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.