US State Department questions Ukraine's intention to fight corruption

The US is concerned about the arrests of members of the anti-corruption bureau in Ukraine and believes that such developments bring the risk of undermining the country's international support, a press statement by Heather Nauert said.

"Recent events – including the disruption of a high-level corruption investigation, the arrest of officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), and the seizure of sensitive NABU files – raise concerns about Ukraine’s commitment to fighting corruption," the statement reads.

"These actions appear to be part of an effort to undermine independent anti-corruption institutions that the United States and others have helped support. They undermine public trust and risk eroding international support for Ukraine," the State Department said.

Earlier, the State Migration Service of Ukraine said that an agent of the anti-corruption bureau had been detained while trying to bribe a migration department official. However, the NABU stated that the Prosecutor General's Office and the Security Service Agency had disrupted a special operation to uncover the corruption scheme in the migration service. The Attorney General of Ukraine stated that the actions of the NABU agent are illegal and are a provocation. On Friday, President Pyotr Poroshenko said that public interdepartmental conflicts had moved beyond "reasonable competition."

The State Department also cited US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had previously stated that "it serves no purpose for Ukraine to fight for its body in Donbass if it loses its soul to corruption."

"Anti-corruption institutions must be supported, resourced, and defended," the State Department quoted Tillerson as saying.

"Reflecting the choice of the people of Ukraine, the United States calls on all branches of Ukraine’s government to work together cooperatively to eliminate corruption from public life. Eliminating corruption is key to achieving stability, security, and prosperity for all Ukrainians," the State Department statement said.

DONi News Agency