In solidarity with Ukraine over the one-year mark of the war, the White House announced it would send another $2 billion in military aid to Ukraine. The recent U.S. care package to the embattled state comes as other NATO states like Poland say they will send their German-made Leopard tanks to assist Ukraine. Given that the U.S. has given more than $100 billion in humanitarian and military aid, questions are being raised about whether all this money is being used for its intended purpose. Before Russia’s invasion in 2022, Ukraine was known for its rampant corruption, and these allegations have continued throughout the conflict. However, according to a U.S. investigation from Samantha Power, the Obama-era USAID Administrator, Ukraine has done a commendable job tackling its corruption problem, and U.S. money is being put to good work. Although the recent report is far from the audit that some Republicans have been asking for, it is an affirmation that money is being well spent, which will inevitably ensure the blank checks keep coming.
By Simon Kent; February 24, 2023
Ukraine is not misusing the tens of billions of dollars in direct financial assistance it is receiving courtesy of U.S. taxpayers according to a top Biden administration official.
Samantha Power, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), gave the public affirmation during a CNN live town hall on Thursday evening.
Her assurances came just hours ahead of the White House revealing it would give another $2 billion in military aid to Ukraine as its war with Russia officially hits the one-year mark, bringing the total amount of American military assistance to over $30 billion in one year.
The former Obama administration official further claimed Ukraine has made progress in working to root out corruption while officials are continually checking to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are used properly.
“Up until this point, we don’t have any evidence that U.S. assistance is being misused or misspent but, again, the key is not resting on anybody’s goodwill or virtue,” Power said.
She was responding to a question posed about Ukraine’s long history of corruption. “It’s checks and balances, the rule of law, the integrity of officials,” Power added were the key to her confidence in the Zelensky administration.
The U.S. has given more than $100 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of the war one year ago even as doubts have been expressed over the potential for corruption.
Other allegations included dubious military contracts with under-the-table kickbacks to deputy ministers, the sale of military equipment – including American hardware – to international buyers, and embezzlement from the national winter aid budget.
Last month President Zelensky sought to clear the air by sacking a string of officials in the wake of corruption allegations.
In acknowledging the constant allegations of corruption, Power explained the U.S. Government Accountability Office launched a new initiative to help Ukraine expand its auditing institution, which she said will be needed for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Power added the U.S. does not provide for resources like paying health workers or providing disability support to Ukraine unless officials see a receipt for an expenditure and acts on a basis of reimbursing Ukraine for its spending.
Some House Republicans have raised doubts about the continued U.S. support for Ukraine and questioned how the money being sent there is being used, seeking to begin an audit of the money trail, as Breitbart News reported.