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    German Ex-Minister Refuses to Cooperate With Ukraine’s Modernization Agency

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    The Agency was established in early March in Vienna and was reportedly designed to develop a plan for the modernization of Ukrainian economy.

    Former German Defense Minister Rupert Scholz refused to cooperate with the recently established "Agency for Modernization of Ukraine,” according to the German magazine “Der Spiegel”.

    The Agency was reportedly designed to develop a plan for the modernization of the Ukrainian economy and was expected to include a number of prominent Western politicians.

    While Scholz was silent for the reasons of his refusal to cooperate with the new structure, the magazine suggested that his decision might be related to the suspect financing sources of the institution. The main financial sponsor of the Agency is Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, who is currently under house arrest in Austria, waiting for a court’s decision on his extradition to the US, where he had been accused of corruption.

    The Agency was established in early March in Vienna with the aim of helping Ukraine out of its economic crisis and to work out a comprehensive modernization plan. However, it was considered controversial by several Western politicians, in particular due to the poor reputation of Dmitry Firtash and his dubious financing sources.

    Rupert Scholz was to become one of the eight "senior advisors" on constitutional reform in Ukraine. Among others are former EU-Commissioners Günter Verheugen and Peter Mandelson as well as French former Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

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