Can Ukraine win its war on corruption? ask Melinda Haring [Editor of the Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert and a former Penn Kemble fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy] and Maxim Eristavi, co-founder of Hromadske International, a Kiev-based independent news outlet:
“We are sliding back,” the Ukrainian journalist turned parliamentarian Serhiy Leshchenko [a former NED Reagan-Fascell fellow, left] warned a year ago about the arc of political reform in his country. At the time, his assessment sounded alarmist, but it rings true today. Since the 2014 Euromaidan revolution, reformers in and out of Ukraine’s government have tried to remake a fiscally troubled and deeply corrupt country into a Western-oriented, rules-based one, but have only partially succeeded.
“Ukraine’s future as an independent and sovereign state will depend as much on winning its internal war on corruption and fixing its broken government as on keeping Russia contained in the east,” Haring and Eristavi suggest in Foreign Affairs. “If Kiev emerges as a reformist success story, its example will send shock waves through the post-Soviet space and signal that the Kremlin’s neoimperial and rule-breaking project of maintaining control over its former colonial satellites is not sustainable. If it fails, however, the EU-border state may collapse, creating a major security threat for Europe and beyond.”