Poroshenko: There is no political backing for corruption in Ukraine, losses from schemes in defense industry to be returned to budget
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko assures that corruption in Ukraine does not have political backing and the losses caused by corruption schemes in the defense industry will be returned to the national budget.
"Raids have been conducted on all of the defendants in the [defense industry embezzlement] case, without exception today, after yesterday's meeting [of the National Security and Defense Council]. I thank for this reaction to the request from the president. At the same time, I stress that if a person is guilty, he should be in prison – whoever he is. And if he is not guilty, then the public should not have doubts about the objectivity and impartiality of the investigation," Poroshenko said in an interview to Ukrainian television channels on Thursday evening.
According to him, all information has been examined by law enforcement agencies for months.
"An attempt was made to make a scandal right before the delivery of charges. Why is it dangerous? Because it's about an attempt to undermine the credibility of the army, the state, the defense complex," the president said.
He also stressed it was not about denying corruption in the country. "Corruption exists. It is about whether we are able to effectively deal with it, whether corruption has political backing. And I emphasize there is no backing, and moreover, there is the political will of the president, which is now being demonstrated, that nobody will escape the punishment for the crime committed. The [stolen] money will be returned to the budget. They will return it for sure... Liability will follow," Poroshenko said.
On March 7, the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) conducted a series of searches of defendants in journalistic investigations about corruption in the country's defense industry, including the place of residence of former First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleh Hladkovsky and his son Ihor Hladkovsky, NABU Artem Sytnyk said.