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President of Lithuania: Corruption in Ukraine hampers arms deliveries

05 Sep, 2023
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President of Lithuania: Corruption in Ukraine hampers arms deliveries

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"Corruption in Ukraine significantly influences Western countries when making decisions about supplying weapons to Kyiv," says Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda.

"This is an important reason. This is a very important reason because the states that support Ukraine are democratic states, so they must take into account the sentiments of their society and the opinions of voters," the country's leader said on the "LRT Forumas" program on Monday evening.

"Imagine that voters in one or another state see that in the country receiving assistance, very noticeable corruption scandals are happening. This is a huge blow to the reputation of that state," he added.

Nauseda made these remarks after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy decided on Sunday to replace Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov with Rustem Umerov, who had been heading the State Property Fund since last year. While Zelenskyy did not mention corruption in his statement, investigations into abuse and bribery in weapons procurement have recently begun at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Nauseda does not believe that this fact has caused a delay in the delivery of American F-16 fighters.

"Sometimes, it is not just about making a decision, but also about implementing it," said the Lithuanian leader.

The President criticized discussions about possible peace negotiations without Ukraine's participation.

"For us, any negotiation model is unacceptable if Ukraine is not involved. If someone is negotiating with Russia behind Ukraine's back, until Ukraine itself decides, and as far as I know, it has decided to restore its territory as it was, no one can trade Ukraine's territory at its expense," Nauseda said in response to positions advocating territorial concessions, this time from the western side.

The head of Lithuania also noted that Ukraine is trying to counterattack while avoiding large casualties, which may make the process seem too slow from the outside.

"It (counterattack) brings certain results, but the Russian side has prepared for this counterattack. They want the Ukrainian side's counterattack to result in significant human losses. The Ukrainian side wants as few losses as possible," Nauseda said.

"So, when we observe from the outside and watch the television screen, it may seem to us that the attack could be bolder and faster. But this would lead to huge losses in both equipment and personnel, which is unacceptable for the President of Ukraine, and I fully understand him," Nauseda said

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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