Donors get cold feet

Kyiv Post - - Opinion -

Ac­cord­ing to a Reuters news story out of Brussels on March 26, the Euro­peanan Union is putting the brakes on a donors con­fer­ence that Ukraine’s govern­mentnt had planned for Kyiv to drum up bil­lions of dol­lars in new aid.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said that its pres­i­dent, Jean-Claude Junck­erker would visit Kyiv on March 30 ahead of a newly an­nounced EU-Ukraine sum­mit­mit in Ukraine on April 27.

Be­fore pledg­ing bil­lions of dol­lars in long-term loans, West­ern gov­ern­mentsnts “want to know what their money is to be spent on,” ac­cord­ing to one anonyny­mous EU of­fi­cial quoted by Reuters. Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner Jo­hannes Hahnhn told Reuters last month: “We have to avoid a bot­tom­less pit.”

West­ern gov­ern­ments are ab­so­lutely right in in­sist­ing on speed­ier re­formsms from Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment. The ar­gu­ments that the West should not put conon­di­tions on a na­tion in war sim­ply aren’t per­sua­sive.

In the first place, Ukraine has to do more in mo­bi­liz­ing for war on its ownwn be­fore it can ex­pect more mil­i­tary aid from the West to build its long-termrmr de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Se­condly, re­forms should be done any­way to pros­e­cute those sus­pect­eded of mur­der and fi­nan­cial crimes, with or with­out war. Many of the scheme­ses and schemers are known to all of Ukraine’s of­fi­cials, as the sacking of Igor­gor Kolo­moisky and the ar­rests of two state emer­gency ser­vice of­fi­cials, showed.ed. What’s been lack­ing is the po­lit­i­cal will to end the “bot­tom­less pit” of cor­rup­tion schemes, kick­backs and non-trans­par­ent ten­ders that only en­rich the in­sider elite and im­pov­er­ish the rest of the na­tion.

Par­lia­ment has yet to re­move their legal im­mu­nity from crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion, as well as that of judges, and ap­pear to be drag­ging their feet.

Po­lice, pros­e­cu­tors and courts still don’t seem to be ca­pa­ble of in­ves­ti­gat­ing crimes and find­ing cred­i­ble ev­i­dence to present in courts -- even though the cor­rup­tion and ev­i­dence are all around them.

The state-owned Naftogaz -- his­tor­i­cally a black hole of cor­rup­tion -- is still bleed­ing money and needs to be run on mar­ket prin­ci­ples to sep­a­rate its pro­duc­tion, trans­porta­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion func­tions.

Ob­vi­ously Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment, while a big im­prove­ment over pre­vi­ous ones, is still not do­ing enough to con­vince for­eign donors or av­er­age Ukraini­ans that it is se­ri­ous about work­ing in the public in­ter­est.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ukraine

© PressReader. All rights reserved.