Volodymyr Zelensky leaves the stage after addressing a media conference at a NATO summit in VilniusInternationalIndiaAfricaThe White House gave the Kiev regime a set of conditions for receiving aid from the West. Ukraine is required to conduct a series of sweeping reforms concerning its courts, security service, Defense ministry, and economy.Earlier this week, Deputy White House National Security Adviser for International Economics Mike Pyle sent a draft list of reforms to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, as per Ukrainian media.The document was also forwarded to the multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform, a group of organizations including the EU, G7 governments, and the main international financial organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and others.Later, the US Embassy in Ukraine confirmed that Kiev had been “provided a proposed list of priority reforms for discussion and feedback at the multi-donor coordination platform in Brussels”.
‘Reforms Linked to Conditions on US Assistance’
The document titled “Reforms Linked to Conditions on US Assistance” details the necessary changes in order of urgency – 0-3 months, 3-6 months, one year, and 18 months.Some of the provisions have additions in italics, like “EU MFA [macro-financial assistance] conditionality”; “IMF Structural Benchmark”; “requirements for Ukraine to begin EU accession process”; and “IMF MEFP [Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies]” suggest that the list covers not only US assistance, but also aid from Western-led international organizations. The document clearly indicates Ukraine will further lose its sovereignty in favor of EU and NATO institutions.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineUkraine Corruption Poses Risks to US Aid – State Department28 July, 07:54 GMT
Per the White House list, the elimination of corruption in Ukraine is the number one priority: reforms in this sphere should be accomplished within a three-month timeframe.· Ukraine has to reform the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), in line with the parameters of the IMF structural benchmark.· Increase the number of detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) by at least 300; provide them with wiretapping capability; and preserve the agency’s “independence and exclusive investigative authority over high-profile corruption matters.”· Reinstate mandatory asset and financial disclosure requirements for public officials, judges, and political parties.· Select new head of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP).· Complete the High Council of Justice (HCJ) reboot by establishing a Service of Disciplinary Inspectors with direct and meaningful participation of independent experts to restore the HCJ “disciplinary function.”Furthermore, in the three-to-six month timeframe, the Kiev regime has to expand the number of judges on the nation’s High Anti-Corruption Court; establish a new specialized court (the High Administrative Court of Ukraine [HACU]) for administrative cases against national state agencies; reform Ukraine’s Supreme Court (SC).Remarkably, at the same time, Kiev is required to “limit” the powers of the infamous Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) “to those associated with counter-intelligence, counter-espionage, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism,” and reshuffle the agency.”Create a credible disciplinary committee and replace staff who do not meet ethical and professional standards,” the document reads. “Enhance parliamentary and civilian oversight of SBU. Restructure process for requesting lawful intercept (wiretapping), and allow other institutions to conduct judicial intercept separate from SBU.”AnalysisUS Aid to Ukraine May Dry Out, But Not Because of House GOP27 September, 09:40 GMT
New Supervisory Boards at State-Owned Energy Companies and ‘Liberalization’ of Tariffs
Ukraine is obligated to expand or establish “independent supervisory boards” for its state-owned enterprises in energy and defense sectors, including UkrEnergo, Naftogaz, Energoatom, and Ukrainian Defense Industries JSC (formerly Ukroboronprom); implement natural gas and electrical tariffs “liberalization”; and prepare for “green energy generation” and “EU-Ukraine energy grid integration” (one-year priority).WorldReznikov Removal: What Are the Corruption Scandals & Failures Plaguing Ukraine?4 September, 13:51 GMT
Stamp Out Corruption in Defense Ministry & Increase Interoperability With NATO
The White House document specifically demands that Ukraine “re-design both military armament and public procurement processes and procedures reflecting NATO standards of transparency, accountability, efficiency, and competition in defense procurement” within a year.The Kiev regime has to strengthen “democratic civilian control” and oversight of the military and “modernize command and control architecture in accordance with NATO principles.” Governance and defense planning processes should also be transformed “to increase interoperability with NATO.” The White House has also obligated Kiev to increase transparency and reduce corruption in its defense sector.WorldAfter Plundering One of World’s Poorest Countries, Clintons Look to Cash in on ‘Aid’ for Ukraine18 September, 15:24 GMT
Is US Fixing for Ukraine ‘Reconstruction’?
One of the document’s provisions requires that Kiev establish an office of Inspectors General within each key ministry involved in “reconstruction” within 18 months. The IG should have the authority to: first, “make pro- active criminal referrals to the NABU or other appropriate anti-corruption investigating authorities,” and, second, “to intercept and prevent waste, fraud and abuse within the ministry.”
What’s Really Behind the Reforms?
The proposed reforms are typical of all US-backed puppet regimes, according to Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior research fellow at the Center for European Studies, Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences.”Look at the list of demands during the ‘color revolutions,’ say, in Central Asia, look at the list of demands during the separation of the Baltic countries from Russia, and you’ll see the same list, the same reforms,” Olenchenko told Sputnik. “That is, this is a pattern that has long been established among the Americans, and it is aimed at subordinating, say, the administration of these countries to American standards.””In this situation, as I understand it, we are seeing attempts to propose to the leadership of Ukraine to adopt American standards of government management and American standards of corporate governance,” said Olenchenko. “In particular, corporate governance by American standards suggests that a third of the directors should be independent. One might assume that these will be American citizens. This means that no decision will be made without their consent.”WorldUkraine Lost Sovereignty Upon Receiving Western Money and Weapons – Orban 14 July, 12:02 GMTLiberalization of energy prices means that they will be dictated by transnational companies. The Ukrainian population will pay, and the Western companies will benefit, the expert continued. He recalled that similar liberalization reforms were carried out in Poland: they backfired on the nation’s consumers and households and led to their impoverishment.It’s by no means surprising that NABU’s powers would be expanded, while those of the SBU are designed to be reduced: the former has been closely collaborating with the FBI, while the latter remains subservient to Ukraine’s national government. According to Olenchenko, the US is seeking to take more control over the law enforcement and judicial branch, and place its own appointees in top positions.”[The Biden administration] understands that the current leadership of Ukraine has reached a dead end and has seemingly exhausted its potential, both managerial and ideological,” the expert said.In fact these reforms create a stalemate situation for the Ukrainian president and his entourage, according to the expert: if Zelensky adopts these demands, Kiev will be placed under tighter management of Washington and the present Ukrainian government would no longer be relevant. If Zelensky rejects these measures, the West will stop providing financial aid to Ukraine.Given that the list provided to the office of the Ukrainian president was drafted by a deputy national security adviser, i.e. a relatively low-ranking official, one might interpret it not as a “directive” but a “hint” to Zelensky that it’s time for him to step down, suggested Olenchenko.AnalysisIs Biden Preparing to Dump Ukraine For Taiwan?3 August, 10:04 GMT
Is Washington Seeking Face-Saving Exit From Ukraine Quagmire?
Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Policy Committee of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Yaroslav Yurchyshyn denounced the White House’s list of priority reforms as a “wrong step” on the part of the US.”In fact, this is a big challenge – linking reform to receiving weapons,” Yurchyshyn told a Ukrainian radio station on Tuesday. “As for me, this is a very wrong step by our partners. Because, be that as it may, reform is our internal task. It can be tied to IMF funds, it may be tied to the European integration plan, to joining NATO. And the defense of Ukraine is actually the defense of Western values.””It’s a shame that it has come to this,” Yurchyshyn emphasized.On Wednesday, an unnamed US national security official was quoted as saying that the list of “priority reforms” is not a condition for further military assistance. “Reforms are needed for Ukraine’s European integration,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Apparently, Washington expected this sort of reaction from Ukrainian lawmakers and politicians, according to Olenchenko. In some sense, the list of reforms provides the US foreign policy establishment with a good pretext to reduce or halt Ukraine aid altogether, the expert noted”[Washington] can now reduce assistance, delay it, level it out and say: ‘We have requested [reforms], but Ukraine is not complying with them. Why doesn’t it do it? Who is guilty? The current Ukrainian leadership is to blame,” Olenchenko concluded.Remarkably, the document in question came on the heels of a series of corruption scandals that have recently engulfed the Ukrainian government. Earlier this year, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh cited CIA officials as saying that President Zelensky and his entourage embezzled around $400 million from US aid packages in 2022 alone.Currently, the Biden administration is trying to ram a new $24 billion aid package for Ukraine through the US Congress. House Republicans oppose the measure, especially after Kiev failed to make any progress during its three-month counteroffensive.AmericasHouse Republicans Fed Up With Biden’s Ukraine Aid Requests18 September, 16:10 GMT