“The most difficult yet one of the most principled tasks of the nearest future is bringing order to public purchases, particularly making the legislation transparent, and creating conditions for foreign partners to enter this market,” Yanukoyvch’s press service quoted him as saying. “We intend to deliver a powerful and systematic attack on corruption in the country.”
Yet only a day earlier, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development cancelled a visit to Kyiv by its president, Suma Chakrabarti, because Ukraine’s government was not ready to sign a memorandum of understanding outlining specific steps to combat corruption.
What in the eight-page memorandum was too difficult for Ukrainian officials to swallow? Perhaps this passage: “All parties affirm that the principles of transparency, accountability, impartiality and legality should guide all government action.” Or perhaps this passage was the objectionable one: “The parties acknowledge that substantial efforts to combat corruption and the unfair treatment of business are needed to improve the business climate in Ukraine and support its economic growth.”