Blinken urges Ukraine to persist in corruption fight, citing Russia's path as warning

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Kyiv Polytechnic University in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 14, 2024
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Kyiv Polytechnic University in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 14, 2024

Despite some progress in the fight against corruption, Ukraine still has a lot to do in this direction, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a speech to students of the Ihor Sikorskyi Kyiv Polytechnic Institute on May 14.

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"We see that reforms are supported on paper, but they must be implemented," said the diplomat.

“In particular, corruption must be eradicated once and for all. Victory on the battlefield will give Ukraine the opportunity not to be part of Russia, and victory over corruption will give Ukraine the opportunity not to be like Russia.”

Ukraine has recently improved its position in the corruption perception ranking, he added, attributing this to the work of anti-corruption agencies, activists and independent media.

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"But there is still a lot of work to be done," Blinken said.

“Eight out of ten Ukrainians still believe that in Ukraine one law applies to ordinary people and another law applies to elites. Protection against graft should be as reliable as protection on the battlefield – it is about civil society, free press, free elections, free investigating prosecutors, judges.”

Corruption is one of the "powerful" tools used by Russians to undermine democracy, he believes.

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"[Vladimir] Putin knows how powerful corruption can be and how it can sow distrust in society and undermine public institutions," the U.S. state secretary said.

“This tactic has worked in Russia for over 25 years, and Ukrainians have been fighting corruption for decades and have already had powerful results.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine