EU Earmarks Billions For Ukraine Despite Rampant Corruption

The European Union is set to establish a credit line for war-torn Ukraine of 50 billion euros that would be funded through 2027. This despite increasingly widespread concerns of corruption in Kyiv as billions pour into the nation’s coffers.

The new fund is called Ukraine Facility and is set up in three tiers.

The first would give financial assistance directly to Ukraine. The second would facilitate financial investment into the country while the third would assist leaders with enacting reforms necessary for membership in the E.U.

Ukraine was granted the symbolic status last year of a formal membership candidate. However, the country has only met two of seven requirements for talks to even begin.

Part of the plan is for the Ukraine Facility to utilize frozen Russian assets into its investments and reforms.

However, there are growing worries over the high levels of corruption and graft among E.U. members. It is widely acknowledged that financial irregularities were rampant in Kyiv even before the war with Russia began last year.

A pair of officials stressed in Brussels that standards must be raised in Ukraine for the assistance to be viable.

MEPs Michael Gahler and Eider Gardiazabal Rubial on Monday declared the financial commitment for the credit line is significant.

They told their colleagues that Kyiv’s corruption rates need to drastically improve, its judiciary is not independent, and oligarchs and organized crime must be controlled. Efforts to rein in financial wrongdoing must, they asserted, be complimented by the country’s private sector.

The Volodymyr Zelenskyy administration, even in the midst of wartime, faces accusations on several fronts of corruption. Several of the president’s closest aides are suspected of bribery and graft.

Zelenskyy repeatedly defended his office’s efforts against corruption. “I want to emphasize: if those who work with me are suspected of corruption, these people will be fired. And I have not yet seen such examples in my office.”

In the last survey of Transparency International’s annual global Corruption Perceptions Index, only Russia was ranked more corrupt in Europe than Ukraine.

This does not bode well for a nation with its hat in its hand expecting tens of billions in assistance for what increasingly appears to be a war with no end.