A confidential US strategy document shows that the Biden administration is more concerned about alleged corruption in Ukraine than initially acknowledged.
A “sensitive but unclassified” version of what is believed to be a possible US long-term plan for Ukraine outlines several measures the US is taking to help Kiev fight corruption.
The achievement is that growing criticism of corruption could eventually lead Western allies to withdraw their support for Ukraine’s fight against Russian invasion.
Zelensky’s government has received the most generous support from the United States, where $75 billion has been pledged so far — and some lawmakers are increasingly local and concerned about how the money is being spent.
The 22-page document, as seen by Politics, stresses that Kyiv must immediately implement its anti-corruption efforts.
The confidential document emphasizes that “perceptions of high-level corruption” could also erode trust in Ukraine’s wartime government among both the Ukrainian public and foreign leaders.
The Biden administration is concerned about corruption in Ukraine, according to a leaked document discussing US strategy in the war-torn country. The photo shows Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the White House last month
A view of Humvees given to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in December 2021
Commander of the Joint Forces, Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev fires a US-made MK19 automatic grenade launcher during a military training exercise in Kiev last month
It also details what has been dubbed the “Integrated Country Strategy,” which informs U.S. objectives in Ukraine, including efforts to privatize banks, promote the teaching of English in schools and encourage the Ukrainian military to follow NATO protocols to take over.
Whether the US will send a new round of military aid to Ukraine remains up in the air.
Congress averted a government shutdown by passing a short-term funding bill this weekend, but it passed without any funding for the war effort in Ukraine.
The adopted resolution contains no provisions for Kiev, despite calls from the White House and Senate to include them.
Still, Democrats hope to pass a separate relief measure in the coming days, although it is unclear whether such a package would include the $24 billion that President Joe Biden originally requested.
It remains to be seen whether the US will send a new round of military aid to Ukraine. Pictured Gunner ‘Molfar’, 39, a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle crew member of the 47th Magura Mechanized Brigade
Workers unload a shipment of military aid delivered as part of United States security assistance to Ukraine at Boryspil Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine, in early 2022
A faction of far-right Republican House members say the money sent to Ukraine would be better spent addressing the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
And House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said he will demand certain guarantees before introducing a new relief bill.
On Sunday, Biden said he had a deal with Chairman McCarthy to send more money to Kiev.
His comments led Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz to accuse the speaker of making a “secret deal.” However, McCarthy told reporters there was no deal.
Any perception of reduced US support for Kiev could also lead European countries to reconsider their role.
Behind-the-scenes, frank discussions with Ukrainian officials continue to take place, according to an anonymous U.S. official familiar with Ukrainian policy Politics.
President Joe Biden indicated on Sunday that he had a deal with Chairman Kevin McCarthy on financing Ukraine
Speaker McCarthy denied he had a deal with Biden on financing Kiev
Corruption is at the top of the agenda, with US officials weighing the possibility of linking future economic aid to Ukraine with reforms to fight corruption and attract private investment. However, such conditions would not apply to military aid.
Although NATO membership is still a long way off for Ukraine, part of the new strategy calls for aligning the Ukrainian military with NATO standards.
The strategy would ensure that Ukraine would develop its military equipment production capabilities and its own domestic defense industry while reducing the influence of oligarchs, especially in the energy and mining sectors.
There would be an expansion of the US diplomatic presence beyond the capital Kiev to other Ukrainian cities.
The US wants to fight corruption at all levels, starting with local governments, but also in other parts of the country’s life, including Ukraine’s healthcare sector and cybersecurity. It also includes efforts to combat disinformation.