US officials have released a list of “priority reforms” for Ukraine, indicating that future aid could be contingent on whether the government complies. The document was distributed by the White House and shared with potential supporters of Ukraine’s war effort. The US Embassy in Kiev confirmed in a statement that it had provided the proposed list of reforms for discussion and feedback among Ukrainian officials and other potential donors. The embassy emphasized that the list was meant to support Ukraine’s integration into Europe, which the United States strongly supports.
The embassy statement came in response to Ukrainian media outlets obtaining a copy of the proposed policies. Some agencies reported that Kiev would need to implement these reforms in order to receive aid in the future. The document categorizes the reforms based on their urgency, with some labeled as “0-3 month priorities” and others expected to be implemented over a longer period of time, up to 18 months. Immediate policies include measures to strengthen Ukraine’s Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and increase staff in the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Longer-term goals include judicial and economic reforms, such as the liberalization of gas and electricity tariffs.
The document also calls for an overhaul of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry to align with NATO standards of transparency, as well as a redesign of the military’s procurement process. President Biden has consistently called for reining in corruption in Ukraine while approving billions in military aid. The Pentagon recently launched a special monitoring team to track the flow of weapons on the ground, signaling a heightened focus on corruption since the fighting with Moscow intensified last year.
In addition to US officials’ concerns about corruption, Republican lawmakers in Congress have demanded more detailed information about US aid to Ukraine since February 2022. A group of lawmakers wrote a letter to the White House, urging for specific figures. The Ukrainian public also shares concerns about government corruption, with recent polls showing that 78% of adults view President Zelensky as directly responsible for it.
The US government’s emphasis on combating corruption in Ukraine aligns with its broader efforts to support Ukraine’s integration into Europe. By prioritizing certain reforms and potentially tying aid to their implementation, US officials are seeking to address longstanding concerns about corruption in Ukraine and promote a more transparent and accountable government. The proposed reforms, if implemented, have the potential to strengthen Ukraine’s institutions and improve its standing both domestically and internationally.