U.S. calls Ukraine's actions on Motor Sich, PrivatBank encouraging
The United States considers the steps of Ukraine regarding JSC Motor Sich and the prosecution of the former leaders of PrivatBank to be encouraging, Charge d'Affaires of the United States in Ukraine Kristina Kvien has said.
"We supported the moves to sanction Victor Medvedchuk, Taras Kozak. They have been using their media assets for years to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We were encouraged by the move to sanction a Chinese company for attempting to improperly acquire control of Motor Sich's sensitive technology. The recent charges against former Privat Bank executives are an important first step toward holding accountable the oligarchs accused of stealing billions from the Ukrainian people. We were also encouraged by moves to hold accountable those responsible for meddling in U.S. elections," Kvien said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
She also noted that it should be recognized to begin with how difficult the fight against corruption is, because powerful circles with vested interests are making efforts not only to undermine the reforms, but also to discredit the reform agenda with an endless flow of disinformation and false rhetoric.
"Ultimately, it's not the United States that will judge whether reforms are 'sufficient,' but the Ukrainian people. President Zelensky campaigned on this idea when he ran for President. It is he – and the people that voted for him – who believe more must be done, and we are happy to support him in that effort. These reforms are what will secure a strong, prosperous democracy for Ukraine, and lead to full integration with NATO and the European Union," Kvien stressed.
In turn, Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Sarah Langenkamp pointed out that there are several really important anti-corruption reforms that will be of great importance.
"Comprehensive judicial reform is the most important, because without independent and fair courts, you can't guarantee the rule of law, protect citizens from corruption and crime, or attract foreign investment. But you also have a series of critical draft laws in the Rada now that Ukraine needs to get right to create a strong anti-corruption architecture," she noted.
According to Langenkamp, firstly, there are bills related to judicial reform, in particular the reform of the High Council of Justice and the restoration of the High Qualification Commission of Judges. "We have urged the authorities to ensure these reforms establish an accountable, independent, and credible judiciary that enjoys public trust, including through the meaningful participation of independent experts in selecting and vetting candidates," she said.
Langenkamp said reform of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CC) is another priority for defending the reform agenda in Ukraine.
"As we saw when the CCU invalidated the National Asset Declaration Registry in October, there is a persistent threat that the CCU will be used by vested interests to invalidate reforms important for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations," she explained.
The embassy's director of international drug control and law enforcement cooperation said that, speaking of the register of asset declarations, the United States likes the priority that President Zelensky is giving to reinstating proportionate and dissuasive sanctions against false declarations. The adoption of the relevant law will be an important demonstration of the intention to carry out some of these most complex and strategic reforms, she said.
"Lastly, I'd say other important reforms are related to preserving the independence and effectiveness of the anti-corruption infrastructure. Re-establishing NABU's constitutionality while ensuring its continued independence following the CCU decision last October is critically important to strengthening the fight against corruption. The appointment of a highly-qualified and independent Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutor is another important ongoing effort that demonstrates Ukraine's commitment to institutionalizing independent anti-corruption efforts," Langenkamp said.