“The key Ukrainian principle is simple and fair, namely: no ruins will be left in Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said ahead of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, where world leaders and CEOs are expected to discuss the cost of and plans for Ukrainian recovery and reconstruction. But convincing Western businesses and taxpayers to invest requires a global effort to support Ukrainian anti-corruption.
A new report from the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund and the Brookings Institution outlines exactly what steps international stakeholders, including US Congress, the EU, G7 donors, and Ukraine, should take in the next year to ensure they are prepared to “rebuild everything”—without any corrupt interference.
Ukraine is simultaneously winning a two-front war against Russia and against internal corruption, authors Josh Rudolph, Amb. Norman Eisen, and Cameron Bertron write. However, there remain many challenges to overcome before Ukraine is assured victory. The fight against oligarchy and corruption in Ukraine is critical to the integrity and security of the rules-based international order, and democracies around the world must come together to support it.
“Ukrainians are halfway through a national hero’s journey centered around their conflict with Russia and oligarchy, a struggle that is transforming Ukraine such that in a decade from now it will be unrecognizable from the Soviet legacy,” says report author Josh Rudolph, senior fellow and head of malign finance and corruption at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at GMF. “There is no greater strategic, political, economic, or moral investment in international peace, security, and prosperity than having Ukraine’s back in this just cause.”
The authors offer specific recommendations for key stakeholders to take this year in support of Ukrainian anti-corruption efforts, including:
- Ukraine should reform its Constitutional Court, bolster its specialized anti-corruption agencies, and resume asset e-declarations.
- The European Union should invest more in Ukrainian investigative journalism, anti-corruption programming, and Ukrainian television news to ensure they remain free of oligarchic influence.
- The US Congress should continue to appropriate unconditional security assistance, while making macro-financial aid conditional upon concrete Ukrainian anti-corruption reforms and codifying coordination among inspectors general at home and abroad.
- G7 donors should empower the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform to prioritize anti-corruption reform conditionality, form a board of Ukrainian civil society experts, integrate Ukraine’s DREAM transparency system into donor platforms, and launch a “fusion cell” of donor agency representatives in Kyiv.
“Anti-corruption is a central theme of Ukraine’s effort to win the war—and the peace that will sooner or later follow. Indeed, Ukraine’s effort to combat oligarchy helped trigger Russia’s illegitimate aggression. Ukraine has maintained its anticorruption campaign as a part of keeping its defenses and international support strong. And fighting corruption will it be critical to Ukraine winning the peace through reconstruction with transparency and integrity,” says report author Amb. Norman Eisen (ret.), senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Read Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Front here: https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/ukraines-anti-corruption-front/
Join us on Friday, June 23 for Building A Transparent and Accountable Ukraine: Key Steps to Recovery, a half-day conference on the sidelines of the Ukraine recovery conference in London, where the authors will discuss the report alongside Amb. Erin McKee and former US congressman Tom Malinowski. View the agenda and register here: https://www.gmfus.org/event/building-transparent-and-accountable-ukraine-key-steps-recovery