President Vladimir Zelensky said on Thursday that corruption is a relic of the past in Ukraine and that all Russian influence has either departed or been pursued when speaking to an audience from across the world now at Bloomberg New Economy Forum.
His allegations were not supported by any evidence that he offered. Only one year ago, the country was regarded as having the second-worst corruption problem in all of Europe by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
“No one will be willing to forgive corruption in future Ukraine,” he said, explaining that all of the corrupt leaders had fled in the months following the launch of Russia’s military operation. “No one will be ready to forget corruption in future Ukraine,” he also said.
He went on to say that since all government services had been transferred to an electronic format, the remaining authorities would not be inclined to “interfere with corporate activities.”
Zelensky made a promise that there would be “no influence of Russian capital in Ukraine” going forward. He explained that any business interests that were not “united” behind his government had either “left our enterprises, and we pushed them out”; this includes the numerous political parties and media outlets that his government banned, such as the Party of Regions, which was founded by Viktor Yanukovych’s predecessor.
As the final shreds of press freedom vanish in Kiev, Ukraine is working on a bill that would give the government complete control over the media.
The leader of Ukraine revealed that he had just finished a meeting with the vice president of the International Bank in order to “start a ‘pilot’ with them related to investment insurance in Ukraine.” He also sought to allay any potential concerns that may have been held regarding the level of corruption in his nation. He asserted that investments, especially those made by the processing and mining sectors, would be secure, and he lauded the “independence of the economics, finances, for transparency of investments.”
Prior to the beginning of Russia’s military action in Ukraine in February, Western media publications such as The Guardian rated Ukraine at and near the top of the list of the world’s most corrupt countries in the world. This ranking occurred before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine. Even Zelensky, in his inaugural address, made a light-hearted jest about the fact that 28 years of politicians in Ukraine had produced a land of opportunity – opportunities “to steal, bribe, and pillage.”
Nevertheless, a large number of voices have subsequently been silenced out of fears of being seen as contributing to a narrative that is favorable to Russia.
In June, the leaders of the European Council & European Commission reminded members of Zelensky’s administration that they would need to “do their homework” to join the EU. They tasked them with effectively combating corruption, executing judicial reforms, and “de-oligarchizing” the economy. A month ago, the Council of Europe made a commitment to help Kiev by locating specialists who would provide it with advice on constitutional revisions and election legislation in order to speed up the process.