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Ukraine under pressure over corruption
December 08, 2017
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Kiev: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is facing mounting pressure from the West for his failure to fight high-level corruption that helped drive pro-EU protests and topple a Russian-backed government in 2014.

The fear in Brussels and Washington is that Kiev will follow the failed course of a similar revolution in 2004-2005 and dissolve into political infighting between vested interests tied to powerful ministries and tycoons.

That era ended with the election in 2010 of a Kremlin-backed leadership that quickly realigned the former Soviet republic with Russia.

Scrutiny of Poroshenko is also growing because of the security service’s attempt on Tuesday to arrest former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili − an anti-corruption campaigner who is leading protests against the president.

The ruling party’s desire to defang the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) by giving parliament the right to remove its leaders appeared to be the final straw for Kiev’s chief Western backers.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Wednesday said she was “deeply concerned by recent events in Ukraine that could roll back progress that has been made in setting up independent institutions to tackle high-level corruption”.

The US State Department and European Union issued similarly blunt statements this week. The World Bank and British Foreign Office have also rallied to NABU’s defence.

The new agency has won numerous enemies by targeting people who seemed untouchable to law enforcement in the past.

These have included the powerful interior minister’s son and three senior defence officials.

Agence France-Presse

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