17 April 2019

Fighting corruption, enhancing Ukraine’s defence capabilities and the rule of law tools – these were the key topics discussed at the press-conference organized by the Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR) on April 17. Among other things, the speakers focused on the primary steps to be done for the next Ukraine’s president.

NAKO Secretary General Olena Tregub said that what had been done over the last 5 years was not enough to bring Ukraine’s defence sector closer to NATO standards. For instance, the National Security Law which was adopted back in June 2018 has not been implemented. It is a framework law and it requires a number of other laws and resolutions to be enacted. For example, the Law on the Security Service of Ukraine, on the parliamentary committee for the oversight over intelligent services, on the declassification of defence procurement, etc.

Thegub mentioned that both candidates promise to enhance Ukraine’s defence capabilities and build the strong professional army. Both are oriented at NATO. Thus, Poroshenko promises that in 2023 Ukraine will apply for NATO membership, whereas Zelensky says that Ukraine’s path towards NATO should be confirmed at the referendum. However she underlined that NAKO hadnot received from the acting president of Ukraine and the presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko the answers to the Questionnaire on defene corruption. The answers from another presidential candidate, Volodymyr Zelensky, had been given to NAKO. For example, he claimed that he knew how to solve the MOD land problem and the defence housing queue problem, how to audit the defence industry complex and Ukroboronprom, how to declassify the defence procurement.

Meanwhile, NGO StateWatch founder Olexander Lemenov called to take away from the SSU the non-characteristic functions. He said that in this case the Security Service of Ukraine will lose the opportunity to illegally put pressure on the legal business. Yulia Kyrychenko who is the Board Member of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform recommended the voters to attentively read the candidates’ electoral programmes before they vote.  She said that what the candidates promise before elections rarely correspond with the President’s powers.

NAKO’s aim is to provide the democratic oversight over the defence sector due to NATO standards. This will increase the transparency and reduce the level of corruption in defence.

NAKO will monitor the steps of the next President in fighting corruption in defence irrespective of who wins the election.