- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 28, 2019

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani abruptly canceled plans Friday to make a paid appearance at an upcoming event sponsored by the Russian government.

Mr. Giuliani backed out of next week’s summit of the Eurasian Economic Union in Armenia within hours of his participation being reported by The Washington Post earlier Friday.

The official program for the event said that Mr. Giuliani was scheduled to take part in a panel discussion moderated by Sergey Glazyev, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that conference attendees were likely to include Mr. Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, among others.

“I didn’t know Putin was going,” Mr. Giuliani said after canceling, The Post reported. “Discretion is the better part of valor.”

Established by Mr. Putin in 2014 and headquartered in Moscow, the Eurasian Economic Union is a regional trade alliance effectively acting as a counterpart to the European Union. Its membership is composed exclusively of five former Soviet state – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia – and the website for next week’s forum lists the Russian government’s Ministry of Industry and Trade as an official supporter.

“I’ve never seen the website,” Mr. Giuliani told the Post late Friday. “I thought I was speaking at an Armenian security conference.”

News of Mr. Giuliani’s involvement emerged as both the president and his personal lawyer face growing scrutiny over recent revelations involving Ukraine, another former Soviet state that has been on the receiving end of Russian aggression since early 2014.

Mr. Trump acknowledged this week that he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July to speak with Mr. Giuliani about investigating Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, and members of Congress pushing for Mr. Trump’s impeachment have accused him of purposely withholding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military aid from Ukraine as leverage.

Mr. Glazyev, the Kremlin adviser slated to moderate the panel that was to feature Mr. Giuliani, was previously sanctioned by the U.S. government over his involvement in the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Giuliani had been the only American scheduled to participate in the conference before canceling.

Both the White House and State Department declined to comment, The Washington Post reported.

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