Kyiv Security Forum

William Pomeranz: The key to a successful fight against corruption in Ukraine is the political will of state leaders

15 April 2016, 16:23

“There are many tools for fighting corruption. But the common feature of all successful anti-corruption programs is the necessity of a political will to combat this scourge, the support at the highest level,” - such view was expressed by William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute, the Head of the Rule of Law Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center (USA), during the 9th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by Arseniy Yatsenuyk Open Ukraine Foundation.
“If there is no such support from the top, the program will fail, despite it may be well-deliberated and despite the pressure from the part of the civil society,” – he added.

William Pomeranz said that in Ukraine the civil society supports the initiatives to create new anti-corruption bodies. “But we are not always sure that proper support from above is provided to civil society in this struggle, particularly from the part of the General Prosecutor's Office,” – said the expert.

He stressed that according to the Ukrainian Constitution the Prosecutor's Office is separated from the executive branch of power, in particular from the Government, while controlled by the President. “We see that in this care Petro Poroshenko acts as his predecessors and he needs prosecution as a source of influence. This explains the reluctance to dismiss the General Prosecutor, Mr. Shokin,” – said the Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute.

According to his observations, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office also protects itself from the investigations. “And we have seen in recent weeks that they also persecute those who raise the issue of fighting against corruption at the very Prosecutor’s Office. And the same situation hampers the formation of anti-corruption institutions,” – says William Pomeranz.

However, the expert stressed that today the Ukrainian people have to continue this fight and “not to lose hope that their expectations will be eventually justified”.


The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum launched by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007 is a platform for debate on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea Region.

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