Western leaders know Ukrainians steal their money – Kremlin
Western countries have come to realize that Ukrainian officials are using the funds they receive from their supporters to line their own pockets, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said.
In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin released on Sunday, Peskov claimed that Western leaders “understand that a certain part of the money they give to Ukraine is, simply put, stolen,” adding that this reality is recognized by US policymakers at various levels.
According to Peskov, when confronted with rampant corruption in Ukraine, American lawmakers “have to explain to their constituents why there is no proper mechanism [to oversee] the fund disbursement [and] why they turn a blind eye to this” while debating further aid packages.
He went on to add that both the US and Kiev’s backers in Europe are “getting tired of the Ukrainian topic, the Kiev regime, and the burden that they have put on their shoulders,” referring to the massive military and financial assistance Ukraine receives from the West.
“Even such extremely powerful economies as the United States can’t do this indefinitely. They have a lot of problems of their own… At some point, all this will become an excessive burden that they can no longer bear,” he stressed.
Peskov’s comments come after Politico reported in early October that the administration of US President Joe Biden was “far more worried about corruption in Ukraine than they publicly admit.” A sensitive document cited by the magazine stressed that the widespread graft in Ukraine could force Western allies to abandon Kiev in its fight with Russia.
The Politico article was echoed by a CNN report, which was released around the same time, alleging that US officials were pushing Kiev to do more to fight corruption, with a State Department diplomatic note compiled this summer linking anti-graft efforts to continued direct budget support.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s request for Congress to approve a new security package, which included more than $60 billion for Ukraine, met with strong opposition from the Republicans. Some GOP lawmakers called on the president for more accountability and to clarify what he thinks the endgame in the conflict would look like.