US wants anti-corruption measures from Ukraine in exchange for economic aid

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Volodymyr Zelensky and Joe Biden. [Photo: Wikimedia]

The United States government wants Ukraine to undertake a series of very specific strict anti-corruption measures in exchange for aid to help the Eastern European country fight the Russian invasion, international media reported.

US officials have circulated a list of “priority reforms” intended for Ukraine, suggesting that future aid could depend on whether the government complies.

Sent out by the White House, the document was reportedly shared with other potential supporters of the Ukrainian war effort, Russian TV network RT reported.

In a statement on Monday, the US Embassy in Kiev confirmed that it had “provided a proposed list of priority reforms” meant for “discussion and feedback” among Ukrainian officials and other possible donors.

“This list was provided as a basis for consultation with the Government of Ukraine and key partners as part of our enduring support to Ukraine and its efforts to integrate into Europe, a goal the United States strongly supports,” the embassy added.

It went on to cite previous remarks by President Joe Biden that his administration is “supporting reforms that are going to combat corruption” in Ukraine.

The embassy statement was issued after Ukrainian media outlets obtained a copy of the list of proposed policies, with some agencies stating that Kiev would need to implement the reforms “to receive aid” in the future.

According to the document, US officials have categorized the reforms based on their urgency, with some labeled as “0-3 month priorities,” while others are expected to be implemented over a longer period of time, up to 18 months down the road.

The most immediate policies include measures to “strengthen” Ukraine’s Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, as well as bolster the staff of the separate National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

Among the longer-range goals are a number of judicial and economic reforms, such as the “liberalization” of the country’s gas and electricity tariffs.

The document also called for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry to be overhauled, to put it in line with “NATO standards of transparency,” as well as a redesign of the military’s procurement process.

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