Ukraine’s defense minister fends off corruption allegations

The Ukrainian defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov categorically rejected yesterday the complaints about corruption with regard to contracts for the logistics of the country’s army, specifically for the purchase of food at exorbitant prices.

“The most obvious goal (of these allegations) seems to be (…) undermining confidence in the Ministry of Defense at this very critical time,” Mr. Reznikov said via Facebook on Monday.

The allegations have no basis in reality, the minister insisted, while promising full transparency in the investigation he said was underway.

“Actually, this is an ordinary technical error of the suppliers,” continued Mr. Reznikov, thus explaining the price paid by Ukrainian army to procure eggs.

Instead of a unit price, payments are made per 100 grams. This explains why the price paid by the armed forces is three times the retail price in Kyiv. Transportation costs, especially the risks associated with deliveries near the frontlines, are also a factor driving up prices, according to Minister Reznikov.

For each Ukrainian soldier, the cost of food on a daily basis equals a little less than 3.7 dollars. The cost increase since last year has reached 21.5%, always according to Oleksii Reznikov, in other words it is lower than the official inflation (26.6%).

A recent publication in the newspaper Zn.Ua about the prices at which food is supplied to the armed forces of Ukraine caused an uproar in the country, which is considered one of the most corrupt in Europe.

Authorities later announced they were already investigating purchases worth about $326 million.

Ukraine, whose territory the Russian army invaded 11 months ago, finances its military spending largely thanks to financial aid from Western nations.

Source: RES-MPE

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