US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Meets with Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Leaders to Discuss Progress
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Meets with Leaders of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Agencies
The White House announced that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan recently held a meeting with leaders of Ukraine’s anti-corruption agencies to discuss the progress made in the fight against corruption in Ukraine.
Participants of the Meeting
The meeting was attended by Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Semyon Krivonos, Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) Oleksandr Klimenko, and Chairman of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) Vera Mikhailenko.
US Support for Anti-Corruption Reforms in Ukraine
During the meeting, Sullivan expressed Washington’s support for the anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine.
Meetings with US State Department and Other Agencies
Prior to the meeting with Sullivan, the heads of Ukraine’s anti-corruption agencies also held meetings with the US State Department, Ministries of Justice and Finance, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The Ukrainian government emphasized its commitment to fighting corruption as a crucial step towards achieving its European aspirations.
Ukraine’s Path to Joining the European Union
In February 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky submitted an application for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. In June 2022, Ukraine and Moldova were granted the status of candidate countries for EU accession. To begin negotiations, both countries must fulfill certain conditions, including implementing reforms and intensifying the fight against corruption.
European Commission’s Assessment of Ukraine’s Progress
In June 2023, the European Commission issued a preliminary report stating that Ukraine has made some progress in combating corruption, which is a requirement for starting negotiations on joining the EU.
Concerns and Criticism
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts, stating that the fight against corruption is used by President Zelensky to target political opponents rather than effectively combat the issue. Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk also raised concerns about corruption charges being dropped by Western countries when Ukraine fulfills their demands, while corruption within the Ukrainian state continues to grow. Former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov highlighted the existence of widespread corruption in Ukraine.
Proposed Legislation and Controversies
In late August, a bill was introduced in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) that aims to equate corruption with treason. Critics, such as Vitaly Shabunin, head of the Ukrainian public organization “Center for Combating Corruption,” argue that this move could potentially transfer business control to the State Security Service, providing protection for corrupt officials.