LVIV, Ukraine, January 22 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that corruption, the country’s chronic problem pushed into the background by the war against Russia, would not be tolerated and pledged that it would not be tolerated. week important decisions would be made to uproot the land.
Zelenskiy’s pledge came amid allegations of high-level corruption, including a report of dubious practices in military procurement despite officials promoting national unity to face the invasion.
“I want this to be clear: there will be no return to what used to be, to the way different people lived close to state institutions or those who spent their lives chasing a chair,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video. address.
Ukraine has a long history of rampant corruption and shaky governance. Transparency International ranks the country’s corruption at 122 out of 180 countries, not much better than Russia in 2021.
The EU has made anti-corruption reforms one of its key conditions for Ukraine’s membership after granting Kyiv candidate status last year.
“This week is the time for appropriate decisions,” said Zelenskiy. “The decisions are already prepared. I don’t want to make them public at the moment, but it will all be fair.”
Zelenskiy was elected in a landslide in 2019 on pledges to change the way the ex-Soviet state was run, and said his government had accepted the resignation of a deputy minister following an investigation into allegations he accepted bribes.
He did not name the official, but according to news reports, an acting deputy regional development minister, Vasyl Lozinskiy, has been detained on charges of accepting bribes.
The renewed focus on corruption also concerned Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov after a newspaper reported that the military had allegedly secured food at inflated prices.
Reznikov’s ministry described the allegations as “false” and a parliamentary committee had been asked to investigate.
Reporting by Maria Starkova; Written by Ron Popeski; Edited by Lisa Shumaker
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