The ousters of top reconstruction officials undermine the West's trust in Zelenskyy - Anti-corruption CEO

Президент Володимир Зеленський і керівник Офісу президента Андрій Єрмак
Президент Володимир Зеленський і керівник Офісу президента Андрій Єрмак

The resignations of Infrastructure Restoration & Development head Mustafa Nayyem and Reconstruction Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov are public administration "suicide" in Ukraine, Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC) CEO, Daria Kaleniuk, told Radio NV.

The moves are likely to affect international politics and trust in the Ukrainian state, she added.

She addressed Nayyem’s and Kubrakov’s resignations on the eve of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Germany.

What happened behind the scenes?

Kubrakov’s cooperation with National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) was one of the reasons for his dismissal, Mustafa Nayyem was involved as well, Kaleniuk said.

“Some unnamed MPs approached both of them with an offer of a bribe regarding a reconstruction project,” she said.

“They did not take a bribe, they documented all this, as it should be, together with NABU, and immediately became outcasts in governmental structures.”

“It would be much more reasonable to send Reconstruction Agency head to the (Ukraine Recovery) Conference in Berlin - as he was not yet dismissed. The Agency itself had worked with the German government for almost a year and our partners, in particular the Germans, trusted the Agency very much."

The Agency'slack of representation at the conference undermines Ukraine's reputation on the international stage

“This is a kind of suicide for Ukrainian public administration," Kaleniuk said.

What happened in the Presidential Office?

Kubrakov and Nayyem are considered "rats" since they cooperated NABU - and it is a normal practice to use such strong language in unofficial communication in the Presidential Office (PO), she said.

Kaleniuk is sure that the PO's unprofessionalism, rudeness, and short-sightedness will cost Ukraine billions of dollars for reconstruction.

“This is an opportunity to rebuild schools, hospitals, and large infrastructure projects. The ability to restore energy right now.”

“We enter winter without hope and without critical infrastructure that would provide us with warmth. That is, there is no guarantee that there will be heat, water, and sewage in apartment buildings of the main regional centers. Because Russia bombed most of the energy infrastructure.”

She also questioned reconstruction plans.

“Where is the Energy Ministry's report?” she asked rhetorically.

“Where is the plan to ensure Ukraine's critical infrastructure before winter? How will we go through winter?

"The Reconstruction Agency covered the tasks the Energy Ministry failed to do. There are no questions for the latter - but we call people who tried to provide results and build trusting relationships with the West - ‘rats’?”

How to ensure funding for Ukraine's reconstruction

The entire situation comes down to the central point - how will Ukraine attract investments if its governmental institutions are not considered credible?

“Ukraine may require more than trillion (dollars) to rebuild (its energy infrastructure),” Kaleniuk said.

“The reconstruction of our critical infrastructure alone will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. There isn't some secret big or charitable bank in the world that we can take a few trillion from to pay for all our rebuilding needs. The only way to attract money, apart from compensation from Russian assets, is private investment. This is when there are businesses — both German and others from around the world — that are ready to enter Ukraine for reconstruction projects."

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It's all about trust, she said.

"It's about guarantees for businesses, for our partners who are thinking of investing in Ukraine," she said.

"It's also about our civil servants, Western-minded professionals, and a forward-thinking Reconstruction Ministry and Restoration Agency."

"There is no one to implement practical projects now, and trust in Ukraine has simply plummeted."

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American pressure on PO regarding certain personnel decisions

The U.S. is aware of PO personnel shifts and challenges, and it does not agree with some of the Ukrainian government's decisions, U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken said on his last visit to Ukraine.

"Messages from all our partners (not only American, but from the G7 as well) were publicly voiced, it was clearly seen after Kubrakov’s resignation,” Kaleniuk assured.

“Each G7 embassy wrote how important it was for them to work with Kubrakov, how much trust there was, and how ‘it's a pity that he was fired'," she said.

It's clear that the ousters of popular high-ranking Ukrainian officials undermine the West's trust in Ukraine, she said.

“This is a sign that Zelenskyy and Yermak have reached the ceiling,” she said.

“How will we attract investments if Western partners finally lose trust in Ukrainian state institutions?”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine