Blinken: Ukraine faces two challenges – Russia, corruption, they are interconnected
The Ukrainian people want to see not only the adoption of laws, but also their implementation, which includes the fight against corruption, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
At a press conference after the talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Thursday, Blinken said that laws are very important, but their implementation is no less important, and what the United States have heard is that the Ukrainian people want to see not only the adoption of laws, but also their implementation, which also includes the fight against corruption.
He said that he discussed in detail with the Ukrainian president the issue of reforms and how important they are.
The Secretary of State said that Ukraine faces two challenges. One is external – from Russia. There is also a threat from within, this is corruption, oligarchs and other persons who put their interests above the interests of the Ukrainian people. These two elements are interconnected, because Russia also uses corruption and persons who will help it advance its interests against the interests of the Ukrainian people, Blinken said.
According to him, in this context, he and Zelensky spoke about the importance of continuing to work towards corporate governance.
Blinken also said this issue is extremely important, in particular with regard to Naftogaz, but not only to Naftogaz. This concerns the main institutions. He talked with Ukrainian president about the importance of a strong and independent anti-corruption council, as well as about the reforms of the judiciary, how judges are elected. They discussed the work that the Verkhovna Rada carried out on the reform of the States Security Service. The first reading of the law has already passed. As the president said, it is very important to understand that significant challenges remain. According to Blinken, there is also significant progress in land reform. This is a very important issue, a new law, which concerns illegal income, the new law on parliamentary immunity is all very important.