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6 Nov, 2023 20:35

Ukrainians are not ‘stealing like there’s no tomorrow’ – FM

Dmitry Kuleba has insisted that reports of widespread corruption are not true
Ukrainians are not ‘stealing like there’s no tomorrow’ – FM

Ukrainian officials are not actually “stealing like there’s no tomorrow,” and “anonymous sources” claiming otherwise should not be trusted, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has said.

The minister made the remarks on Monday, commenting on a recent report by Time magazine  alleging there is rampant – and poorly concealed – corruption in the country.

“The information by Time that officials are ‘stealing like there is no tomorrow’ is untrue,” Kuleba stated, as quoted by local media.

“This is a statement from an anonymous source. Everyone should read the assessments of the European Commission, which revealed a systemic fight against corruption in Ukraine,” he added, insisting that Kiev has greatly improved its ways and means to “react” to graft cases.

In the original Time article, journalist Simon Shuster claimed to have spoken to an unnamed Ukrainian top presidential adviser, asking him whether “officials in Ukraine would think twice before taking a bribe or pocketing state funds” given all the purported effort to “root out” corruption in the country. The adviser reportedly said this was not the case.

“Simon, you’re mistaken. People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow,” the official allegedly told him.

In recent weeks, multiple Western media outlets have reported growing concerns amongst Ukraine’s sponsors over the country’s apparent graft and misuse of funds. Early in October, for instance, Politico wrote that the US administration was “far more worried about corruption in Ukraine than they publicly admit.” This corruption could ultimately force the West to abandon Kiev, the newspaper suggested, citing a sensitive document it had obtained.

The growing demands for accountability has put in limbo a new $60 billion package for Ukraine, which has been tabled by the Biden administration. The new request for Congress was met with strong opposition from some Republican lawmakers, who demanded more accountability from the president and urged him to actually explain his endgame strategy for the ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow.