Kyiv Security Forum

Melinda Haring: All reforms launched by Ukraine five years ago need to be completed

11 April, 19:33

Ukraine must complete all reforms started 5 years ago, carrying the process to its logical conclusion in order to prove its de facto European integration aspirations. The UkraineAlert Editor Ms. Melinda Haring insisted on this within her speech at the 12th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation. 

"The patience of the U.S. and Western partners towards Ukraine is not never-ending. Washington, as well as the West, supported the western course of Ukraine for the last 5 years. But this can not last forever. There is still strong bipartisan support of Ukraine on the Capitol Hill in its intentions. But the last few months could not be said to be good in terms of international image of Ukraine," she noted.

Ms. Melinda Haring had explained that this was influenced, inter alia, by the decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in February of this year on the unconstitutionality of the legislation norms on illegal enrichment, that was perceived by the West with doubts that Ukraine is serious about fighting corruption.

“In addition, rather strange statements were made. In particular, the Prosecutor General Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko said that he had been submitted the lists of the so-called "untouchables". There were some other statements that to some extent have tested the patience,” she said.

According to Ms. Melinda Haring, now the international media writes that "Ukraine will choose a comedian, and it's not a joke. The European as well as American press write about this. "

The expert stressed that the West is interested in ensuring that the elections in Ukraine are transparent. 

“Therefore, it is very important that the country live normally during this turbulent period - seven months between the presidential and parliamentary elections,” she added. According to Ms. Melinda Haring, the West is interested in leaders who will focus on ensuring the long-term perspective and strategy of the country during this inter-election time: “After all, time is passing for Ukraine in the sense that all reforms started 5 years ago must be completed. Therefore, the patience of the Western community has limits.”

In her opinion, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should focus on very difficult issues, in particular, economic reforms and the fight against corruption.

“I advise you to leave the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine alone, let it work, let the Anti-Corruption Court work, put on the agenda a new law on illegal enrichment, take off the power from the SBU to investigate economic crimes, carry out land reform. I understand that it is politically impossible. But do you want your children to grow up in Europe or in Ukraine?“ she asked a rhetorical question.

The real challenge for Ukraine for the next period is to confirm its commitment to the pro-Western course and act, "because many politicians know what to do", but they do not do this. "For Ukraine, the next period will be a test - in its actions to prove that it is ready to get closer to Europe not only in words," Ms. Melinda Haring emphasized.


The Kyiv Security Forum was established by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007. The forum is an annual event that acts as a platform for high-level discussion on relevant matters of national security as well as security in the Black Sea region, Europe and the world.