Corruption and the conflict with Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine’s east will top the agenda when a summit between that country and the European Union takes place Monday in Brussels.
In May, the EU agreed to a $1.2 billion financial assistance package for Ukraine. The International Monetary Fund and EU are demanding deeper reforms to governance and the judiciary in return for the money; however, reforms to the court system have stalled, says Andrew Wilson, professor of Ukrainian studies at University College London.
“You have what’s called the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. It’s totally separate from the corrupt police. It can do its job well. It’s independent. But it can’t actually put bad guys in jail without reform to the courts. They do their work, the courts just let the bad guys go.”
“Ukraine is being asked to set up a separate anti-corruption court. It’s kind of set up a fake version that nobody believes would be independent. So that’s the key stumbling block,” Wilson told VOA in an interview.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet in Helsinki July 16, with Ukraine likely a key subject of the talks.