Corruption overshadows Ukraine aid package



“You can’t catch a big fish with a small, thin rod” said Volodymyr Groysman, the prime minister of Ukraine, when asked why not a single “big fish” has been convicted in a country rated as the most corrupt in Europe, The Independent reports:

Sergii Leshchenko, an MP in the party of Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, held that this was because the “President’s cronies” are deeply enmeshed in graft. “I think the main problem is the lack of political will to fight corruption among the Ukrainian leadership” he claimed.

To be effective, anticorruption reforms require an enlightened citizenry with the capacity for collective action, the National Endowment for Democracy’s Carl Gershman told a Washington forum (above).

A rapid reaction to corruption is about seizing the moment of opportunity to provide help, networks, and experts, said Abdu Alkebsi (right) of the Center for International Private Enterprise, which organized the Rapid Reaction Anti-Corruption Project.

An anticorruption rapid reaction force could also leverage windows of opportunity for reform in new democracies, said Sarah Chayes, author of Thieves of State.

Marie L. Yovanovitch, the new US Ambassador to Ukraine, should be “bullish on reform and make sure that President Petro Poroshenko’s ‘de-oligarchization’ policy is applied fairly and evenly,” say the Atlantic Council’s Melinda Haring and the Kennan Institute’s Kateryna Smagliy :

Make US and IMF assistance conditional on further reform. …. Don’t hesitate to hold oligarchs accountable for the lack of reforms, even when US policy interests may require a warm relationship with the country’s rich, especially those representing eastern Ukraine….Put the major civil society organizations and independent think tanks on speed dial. The Reanimation Package of Reforms is a unique Ukrainian platform that monitors parliament closely and won’t hesitate to sound the alarm when Old Ukraine and its old ways of doing business tries to undermine New Ukraine.


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