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New York Times criticizes Ukraine's President for ineffective fights against corruption

The edition has called the President of Ukraine "a product of the old political system"

New York Times criticizes Ukraine's President for ineffective fights against corruption

The authoritative American newspaper The New York Times has criticized the internal policy of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, having accused him of encouraging corruption, the edition articles says.

According to the edition, the dismissal of Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin is not an efficient signal of the Ukrainian authorities’ decisiveness to conduct a serious fight against corruption.

"Although, the United States and European countries that have provided aid to Ukraine had long pressed for prosecutor-general’s dismissal; in his year in office, Mr. Shokin became a symbol of Ukraine’s deeply ingrained culture of corruption. Corruption has been pervasive in Ukraine since independence, fed by close-knit ties between politicians and oligarchs and a weak justice system," the article author emphasizes.

"In a speech in Odessa last September, the United States ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, said corruption was as dangerous for Ukraine as was the Russian support for a military insurgency in eastern Ukraine. And Vice President Joseph Biden, speaking in front of the MPs, said corruption was eating Ukraine "like a cancer," the New York Times writes.

"In his last hours in office, Mr. Shokin dismissed the deputy prosecutor general, David Sakvarelidze, brought in by President Poroshenko to fight corruption. And before that, Mr. Shokin had systematically cleansed his office of reform-minded prosecutors," the message writes.

The New York Times editors are convinced that the acting prosecutor-general, Yuriy Sevruk, Shokin’s crony, will be heading the Prosecutor-General’s Office the same way as the former top prosecutor. That is why Mr. Poroshenko is now in a difficult situation: his hands full with the Moscow-backed separatists in the east and unceasing political turmoil in Kiev, where Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s government is hanging by a thread.

"Mr. Poroshenko as product of the old system seems to have accepted continuing corruption as the price to pay for a modicum of maneuvering room. But the president, the prime minister and the Parliament must be made to understand that the International Monetary Fund and donor nations, including the United States, cannot continue to shovel money into a corrupt swamp," the article points out.

According to the edition authors, Mr. Poroshenko cannot simply allow one of Mr. Shokin’s cronies to slide into the ousted official’s tainted seat. He should immediately reinstate Mr. Sakvarelidze and begin a broad public discussion on the choice for the next prosecutor general.

"It is necessary for making clear that new prosecutor-general’s mandate will be a thorough reform, and that the government will be fully behind it," the article emphasizes.

As reported before, the Verkhovna Rada passed Mr. Shokin’s resignation on 29 March.

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