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Ukraine’s recovery programs need to be protected from political influence, – Marshall Fund


In the West, many believe that corruption in Ukraine is worse than it really is,” said Josh Rudolph, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He is convinced that reconstruction programs, which will receive more and more international funding, need to be protected from political influence.

In an interview with «Voice of America», he notes that over the past 10 years, Ukraine has created more anti-corruption institutions than any other country during this period, including open data registries, decentralization, specialized anti-corruption institutions, and judicial reform.

“It took 200 years for the United States and Western countries to create such powerful independent and accountable institutions. There is a lack of understanding of this in the West,” he adds.

Ukrainians have begun to face corruption much less at the everyday level. This is evidenced by the results of a recent survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI). The overwhelming majority of adults (79-93%) in all regions where the survey was conducted said they had not encountered corruption when accessing local services.

“The sharp decline in the share of those who have experienced corruption at the local level is an extremely important indicator of the country’s development. It’s a testament to the work that local governments are doing to tackle corruption and that they are focusing on the needs of their residents,” said IRI Director of European Studies Stephen Nix.

In the West, there are those who greatly exaggerate the problem in Ukraine because “they only started to learn about Ukraine’s corruption allegations in 2019 in the context of manipulative coverage of the impeachment of then-U.S. President Donald Trump.” Such people may unreasonably believe that corruption in Ukraine is as bad as in Russia, and they are unaware of progress, the analyst notes.

Among the areas where Ukraine has made significant progress in terms of transparency, the US government notes the management of Naftogaz. According to US Deputy Secretary of State Jeffrey Payette, “Russia has traditionally used gas transit to maintain control over Ukrainians through corruption.”

The U.S. government assures that international aid funds are reliably tracked. There are inspectors general of various U.S. government agencies who report independently to Congress.

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