Foreign Policy. Pretty cakes for Ukraine. It’s time to get the whip

«For Ukraine, these two months were bad,» writes the ex-head of the project on economic reforms in the former USSR of U.S. Department of state Josh Cohen in an article for Foreign Policy.

The new Prime Minister of the country Vladimir Groysman has barely begun to official duties, and it is already being criticized as an insider, which «will keep corruption in its current form». In February the leading reformers in the Ministry of economy and the attorney General resigned, accusing the officials connected with President Poroshenko, in blocking their attempts to relieve Ukraine from the scourge of corruption, the article says.

«Moreover, the Ukrainian «old guard», remaining from the times before the Euromaidan protests, remove the President Yanukovych in 2014, it seems, is showing more of a willingness to undermine the democratic development of the country to silence its critics. Using the February law, been subjected to serious criticism, the party of President Poroshenko was expelled from Parliament of two critical members» — the article says. The Cabinet of Ministers forbade civil servants to criticize the leaders of the country. But perhaps worst of all, the Prosecutor’s office took over the repertoire of the Kremlin, when used trumped-up charges of stealing money from the American aid to RAID leading Ukrainian non-governmental anti-corruption organization, says Cohen.

«Increasingly corrupt and authoritarian behaviour of the Kiev politicians is not only a betrayal of what made the revolutionaries «Euromaidan». It is also a slap in the face to the Vice-President of the USA Joe Biden — perhaps the most high-ranking friend of Ukraine in the West,» says Cohen.

«The time has come to wait with the cakes and get the whip,» he said.

«The first step is recognition, as we have already begun to do, experts on Ukraine, President Poroshenko — for the most part not a problem, not its solution», — the author writes.

«He, of course, the democratically elected leader of Ukraine so that the West (and Ukrainians) continue to support him, at least for the moment. The challenge is to find ways to assist him and his government more than the hard pressure,» the article says.

«It’s time to put the conditions for the provision of further financial assistance: no reform, no assistance,» suggests Cohen.

One of the fundamental components of these reforms, he believes the fix is «appallingly corrupt» judicial system of Ukraine.

Also an important step on the road to reform Cohen calls the support of critics Poroshenko. «If the ruling class of the country will not listen to their friends in the West, perhaps mindful of what happened with his predecessor, he will listen to the citizens», — emphasizes the author.

As stated by former Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalie Jaresko, a vibrant civil society of Ukraine is the main weapon in fighting corruption. «To allow civil society activists to support even greater and more effective pressure on politicians — the best that can now do the West for Ukraine,» says Cohen.

He also believes that the opening of permanent representative offices of Ukrainian civil society organizations in Washington and Brussels will help the major reformers to establish close ties with Western officials and leading sponsors such as the IMF.

When Western officials meet with the Ukrainian government, the reformers have to be there, writes the author. «It would also create an Advisory Board consisting of representatives of leading organizations of civil society activists and reformers in the government, which will be in contact directly with the administration of the Biden,» — said in the article.

«The suspension of financial assistance while strengthening civil society would send a signal to Poroshenko, Ukraine and the world: the emphasis is on the people and not the political fate of their leaders. And today more than ever, Ukrainians need to hear this call,» Cohen concludes.

Translation InoPressa

Foreign Policy. Pretty cakes for Ukraine. It’s time to get the whip 21.04.2016

Апрель 21st, 2016 by
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