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German Foreign Minister commented on Ukraine’s efforts to fight corruption

On September 11, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived on an unannounced visit to Kyiv, where she commented on Ukraine’s fight against corruption, Politico reported.

Baerbock called on Ukraine to intensify efforts to combat corruption.

Kyiv still [has] a way to go in the implementation of the anti-oligarch law and the fight against corruption.

She praised Ukraine’s “impressive” progress on judicial reforms and media legislation. Kyiv has managed to carry out judicial reform even though the country has been reflecting the full-scale invasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the past 18 months.

The German minister also stated that Germany fully supported Ukraine in its desire to join the European Union.

We as the EU must now work quickly to ensure that we are properly positioned for more chairs at the table.

Ukraine received EU candidate status in June 2022. The country intends to join the Union within two years, for which it is actively promoting the start of negotiations taking place in Brussels by the end of 2023.

However, the European Commission is wary of setting specific accession dates. One of the reasons for concern is the high level of corruption in Ukraine. In August, two high-ranking Ukrainian officials were accused of embezzling funds allocated for the purchase of humanitarian aid. Oleksii Reznikov, already a former defense minister, has repeatedly been criticized over a military food contract.

President Vladimir Zelensky was criticized for his proposal to equate corruption with treason in wartime conditions. Officials and observers are confident that this initiative will untie the hands of the state security service.

At the beginning of the month, Zelensky appointed Rustem Umerov, the former head of the State Property Fund, as the new Minister of Defense instead of the retired Oleksii Reznikov.

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