Lithuanian President Says Corruption in Ukraine Slows Down Weapon Supply

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has said the corruption scandals in Ukraine have a significant impact on Western countries when making decisions on the weapons supply to Kyiv.

"This is an important reason. This is a very important reason. Since those states that support Ukraine are democratic states, it means that they should take into account their society’s mood and their voters' opinion.

Imagine the situation: voters in one of the states see that there are very visible corruption scandals in the aid-directed country. This is a huge reputational blow for this state," Lithuania's public service media LRT is citing Nausėda.

Nausėda made such comments after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy decided to replace Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov with Rustem Umerov, who had been head of the State Property Fund since last year.

Although Zelenskyy did not mention corruption in his statement, the Ukraine’s Defence Ministry recently launched investigations into abuses and bribery during weapon procurement.

Nausėda, however, does not believe that this fact caused the delay in American F-16 fighter jet delivery.

"Sometimes such situations are also connected with the fact that, on the one hand, you just need to make a decision and, on the other hand, you need to implement this decision," said the Lithuanian president.

Arvydas Anušauskas, Lithuanian Defence Minister, said that the successor of Ukraine's current Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, would have to make efforts to establish relations with Western leaders.

Norway will lead NATO's efforts to westernise Ukrainian defence procurement and develop cooperation between NATO’s member states and Ukraine.

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