U.S. funds not misused in Ukraine, U.S. Treasury says amid corruption crackdown 

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday it had no indication that U.S. funds had been misused in Ukraine, but that it would continue to work closely with Ukrainian authorities to ensure that appropriate safeguards in place to avoid contamination.

This was the first comment made by the Treasury on the issue after the Ukrainian government last week dismissed senior officials in the country’s biggest political upheaval following allegations of corruption.

“We have no indication that US funds were misused in Ukraine,” Treasury spokeswoman Megan Apper said in response to a question from Reuters. “We welcome the continued efforts of the Ukrainian authorities to work with us to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place so that US aid reaches those for whom it is intended.”

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Apper said the Treasury would continue to work closely with the World Bank on tracking US disbursements “to ensure that they are used as intended, as well as with Ukraine and other partners to combat corruption .”

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US Democratic and Republican lawmakers last week praised the Ukrainian government on Tuesday for taking swift action against corruption and argued that US military and humanitarian aid to the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy should continue.

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Ukraine has a long history of corruption in state-owned or managed companies. Zelenskiy has repeatedly said there will be no tolerance for fraud or waste.

The World Bank has paid over $13 billion to Ukraine through its Public Expenditure on Perpetuation of Administrative Capacity (PEACE) in Ukraine, since December, much of it coming from the United States.

PEACE funds are disbursed to Ukrainian authorities a month after bank officials verified that they have paid salaries to teachers and civil servants and pension payments, helping to hedge against problems.

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The bank told Reuters last month that it is working with Ukraine to improve its e-Government Procurement System called ProZorro, adding that the digital system would help ensure transparency, integrity and ease of access.

Ukraine ranks 116 out of 180 countries on the Annual Corruption Perceptions Index released Tuesday by Transparency International, up one ranking from last year.

Its score on the index was 33 on a scale of 0-100, where 0 means very polluted and 100 means very clean.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons, Jonathan Oatis and Chizu Nomiyama

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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