EU establishes Ukraine corruption watchdog

(MENAFN) The European Commission has established a dedicated watchdog to oversee the allocation of billions of dollars earmarked for Ukraine as part of the European Union’s initiative to support the country amidst its conflict with Russia. Announced on Monday, this Brussels-based Audit Board is tasked with preventing fraud, corruption, conflicts of interest, and irregularities in the funding provided to Ukraine by the European Union. The watchdog will operate until mid-2028, providing regular reports to the European Union Commission and flagging any concerns.

This initiative follows a February agreement among EU member states to allocate up to EUR50 billion (USD54 billion) to Ukraine from 2024 to 2027 under the Ukraine Facility mechanism. This funding is intended to support Ukraine’s modernization, reconstruction, public services, and the implementation of necessary reforms for European Union membership. The EUR50 billion includes EUR33 billion from bond issuance and EUR17 billion in non-repayable support, potentially sourced from proceeds of Russian assets frozen by the European Union —a move Russia has condemned as "theft."

The Ukraine Facility program comes with stipulations for Ukraine to bolster the rule of law and its democratic institutions. Corruption has long been a significant issue in Ukraine, which has been further highlighted by recent high-profile military procurement scandals. These concerns were underscored by a recent report from the Pentagon Inspector General, which labeled corruption in Ukraine as “endemic” and its government as “one of the least accountable” in Europe.

The creation of this watchdog reflects the European Union 's commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in the distribution of aid to Ukraine, aiming to mitigate the risk of corruption and enhance the effective use of funds for Ukraine's recovery and reform efforts.



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