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Thursday, May 23, 2024

US slaps Ukraine with list of demands

Washington reiterated that is pushing measures to “combat corruption” in Kiev

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.

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.

Read more: Canadian Prime Minister announced comprehensive set of measures to support Ukraine

“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.

Though he has approved billions in military aid to Kyiv, President Biden has called for “corruption” in Ukraine to be reined in on several occasions, with the Pentagon recently launching a special monitoring team to track the flow of weapons on the ground for the first time since the fighting with Moscow flared up last year.

Read more: EU Commission prepares to open Ukraine membership talks – Bloomberg

Republicans in Congress have demanded a more detailed accounting of US aid to Ukraine since February 2022, with a group of lawmakers penning a letter to the White House this week urging for specific figures. The Ukrainian public appears to hold similar concerns over official graft, with recent polling by local orgs showing that 78% of adults surveyed view their president, Vladimir Zelensky, as “directly responsible” for government corruption.