13:58 GMT24 January 2021
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    Fugitive Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Onishchenko said that Washington should organise some commission in order to monitor US financial aid to Ukraine.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States should more closely monitor where its financial aid to Ukraine goes, and it should set up a committee to investigate corruption in the country, fugitive Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Onishchenko said Monday.

    "If you want Ukraine to be in Europe, if you want Ukraine in a better economic situation, you should control all this financial support you are giving to Ukraine, you should be more involved," Onishchenko told reporters in Washington via video link from an unspecified European country. "You should organize maybe some commission that would look into these corruption scandals going on in Ukraine."

    The former Ukrainian parliament member pointed out that the United States has been a key ally of Ukraine since the 2014 revolution in the country, including through financial support to Kiev. Earlier in December, Onishchenko alleged that billions of dollars in aid from Western governments to help rebuild Ukraine is being diverted to President Petro Poroshenko.

    Onishchenko accused Poroshenko of "buying" votes in the Ukrainian parliament on policy decisions, and he insisted he has evidence, which he didn’t specify, of conversations with the president that back his claims. Onishchenko said he handed some of that information to the US Department of Justice.

    Asked about the department’s response, Onishchenko said: "I spoke with them. I gave them some of the records. … They told me: ’You know, this corruption in Ukraine is your own problem. We just want to see if corruption touches US laws, American banks, American accounts. But we don’t want to go inside Ukraine.’"

    Onishchenko is accused in Ukraine of stealing state property and is suspected of treason and attempting to destabilize conditions in the country. This summer, stripped of his parliamentary immunity, he fled Ukraine before lawmakers could vote to have him arrested.

    Transparency International ranks Ukraine 130th out of 168 countries in its 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index.

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