Corruption could ‘send Ukraine back to Russia’?



The European Union today announced plans to give Ukraine some 50 million euros (55 million dollars) to fight corruption. EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn warned that corruption may become the major obstacle for investors seeking to enter the Ukrainian market.

As Reuters commentator Josh Cohen has put it, in today’s Ukraine corruption is so bad, a Nigerian prince would be embarrassed, one observer notes:

As documented by Mr. Cohen, “over $12 billion per year disappears from the Ukrainian budget, according to an adviser to Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU). In its most recent review of global graft, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Ukraine 142 out of 174 countries on its Corruption Perceptions Index — below countries such as Uganda, Nicaragua and Nigeria.”

The leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization held talks Saturday on how to get the Ukrainian peace process back on track, as they wrapped up their summit that has aimed to step up pressure on Russia to ease its aggressive stance on its neighbors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Building on nearly a quarter of a century of Ukraine’s co-operation with NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, Kyiv needs to outline how Ukraine’s membership would be beneficial for NATO, particularly in the three areas below, argues analyst Taras Kuzio:

The first is Ukraine should offer its experience in fighting Russia’s hybrid war in analytical methodology, concepts, doctrines and lessons learned. Ukraine would provide education and training and supply experts on hybrid war and urban warfare.  Ukraine could offer its experience of fighting Russia’s hybrid war in analytical methodology, concepts, doctrines and lessons learned. …..

Nevertheless, a new poll released by the International Republican Institute revealed decreasing levels of pessimism towards Ukraine’s government in the aftermath of the change in prime minister on April 14.   However, frustration with corruption remains high and public trust in the government is low.

“It’s no secret that the Poroshenko government has faced significant challenges, but this poll – one of many that IRI has conducted in recent years – could suggest a glimmer of hope for the newly-appointed Prime Minister Hroisman,” said Stephen Nix, IRI Regional Director, Eurasia.  “The government’s decision to adopt a number of reforms, including measures to enhance judicial accountability, is a promising start. Now it must make use of this window of opportunity to ensure that these reforms are properly implemented.”

IRI is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy.

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