the demands on Zelensky to continue counting on the West

Ukraine has many problems right now, but one of them, beyond the Russian invasion, is corruption. The demands of the new script for kyiv ask him to fight it if he wants to continue to count on the favor of the West not only in the context of the war but after it is over (even though it is clear that the conflict has already entrenched). Volodimir Zelenski seems committed to that battle and this Tuesday has announced the dismissal of dozens of senior officials, governors, deputy ministers and even his deputy adviserdays after announcing that there would be changes in the leadership of the country after several scandals within the Ministry of Defense and the arrest of a deputy minister for allegedly accepting bribes.

“We want this to be a signal to everyone that these actions or behavior violate the principle of justice. Of course, our main focus is defense affairs, foreign policy and war, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t see or hear what is being said at different levels of society,” they explained from their kyiv offices once they Some networks began to be uncovered, but the truth is that in addition to the internal reading, this is a kind of debt that the Zelenski Executive has to pay. Why?

Multiplied suspicions… with Russia behind

Ukraine’s problem with corruption comes from afar, and already with the Government of Viktor Yanukovych, now fled in Russia, was a fundamental point on which, among other things, the Euromaidan protests in 2014 were based. This deficit has still not been corrected, despite the fact that Volodimir Zelenski made a banner in the electoral campaign that gave him power to have that fight anti-corruption as one of its flags. His work in this sense, as in others, has been marked by the Russian invasion. But even that has fueled the issue.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock walks along a street lined with destroyed buildings in Shyrokyne, Ukraine, on February 8, 2022.

In the end, war and corruption seem to have gone hand in hand and the investigations have focused precisely on the alleged role of the Ministry of Defense in purchasing military rations at inflated prices. Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, on the other hand, assured that it is a “campaign” to generate distrust of Western partners towards kyiv. That has not prevented the chain of dismissals by Zelenski. The Ukrainian president, moreover, has fenced off figures likely to be affected by corruption and has made a drastic decision: officials cannot leave the country if it is not to carry out official work.

Zelenski also seeks to strengthen his figure

In this sense there is also a personal factor: Zelenski wants to reinforce his figure. “This applies to law enforcement officers, elected representatives, prosecutors and to all those who work for the State and within the State. If they want to rest, they will do so outside of their service to the State. Officials will not be able to go abroad to rest or for any other purpose that is not related to the State,” he said about the measures he has taken, while assuring that he will continue to deepen his anti-corruption plans. He considers that the hand of Russia is too elongated, and more so nowreason why the ‘tentacles’ of Moscow will try to influence the decisions of the invaded.

that brake is “a priority” for the kyiv government. “He will not turn a blind eye. During the war, everyone must understand their responsibility. The president sees and listens to society and responds directly to a key public demand: justice for all,” Zelensky’s senior adviser commented in this regard, Mikhailo Polodiak. Not surprisingly, the data speaks for itself: Transparency International placed in 2021 a Ukraine ranked 122 out of a total of 180 in his study on the perception of corruption.

Do you want to enter the EU? You have duties

With an eye on the medium and long term, the truth is that Ukraine has duties regarding the fight against corruption, and the same European Union has put them on. The country’s entry into NATO is unrealistic, but as a candidate country for accession to the community bloc it has to comply with what the European Commission requests in its report and the Member States are going to monitor it. So, kyiv has to “further strengthen the fight against corruption, particularly at high levelthrough proactive and efficient investigations and a credible record of prosecutions and convictions”. In this sense, it is required to “complete the appointment of a new head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the G-20 summit in Indonesia in November 2022.

The steps demanded of the Zelenski Executive do not stop here. It needs, moreover, “ensure that anti-money laundering legislation complies with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards” and “strengthen the entire police sector as part of Ukraine’s security environment”, precisely so that surveillance against external influence is greater and more effective. The European Commission also urges him to “apply the Law against the oligarchy to limit the excessive influence of the oligarchs in economic, political and public life”. This is one of the most controversial elements, because there are several oligarchs who maintain ties with Russia, as well as organizations and even political parties.

“These are issues that have to be taken seriously”

The decisions taken by Zelensky are seen as drastic, but in Brussels they have been received positively. “As a general rule, we do not comment on ongoing criminal investigations. But, of course, we welcome welcome the fact that the Ukrainian authorities are taking these matters seriously“, said this Tuesday the community spokesperson for Enlargement, Ana Pisonero. But the road, warns the European Commission, does not end here by any means: “Of course, reference actions and methods will be needed to strengthen anti-corruption institutions.” In this way, Brussels will support kyiv on the one hand in the short, medium and long term, but the other will monitor the measures it takes against corruption.Zelensky seems to be clear about this… despite the war or perhaps because of it.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button