The Independent Defense Anti-Corruption Committee (the NAKO) has developed a questionnaire to inform the Ukrainian voters on the strategies that each of the presidential candidates is planning to use to tackle corruption in defense and security. The idea was based on the experience of France and the US, where such surveys are held ahead of each election.

“The defense sector reform and overcoming corruption in this system are key prerequisites for ensuring Ukraine’s national security. It is essential that presidential candidates answer these seven questions, since it will provide voters with valuable information and help them to understand the views of the next president on Ukraine’s future,” said Volodymyr Ohryzko, co-chair of the NAKO.

The NAKO is asking presidential candidates to answer the following seven questions:

  1. How much of an obstacle do you believe corruption in the defense sector to be on the way of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration? If you are elected President, what steps will you take to overcome it?
  2. A certain level of secrecy in the affairs of the national security is necessary for every country, however, excessive secrecy may contribute to corruption and abuse of power. Do you believe that there should be more access to information about defense and security, and if yes, how do you suggest doing it?
  3. An effective procurement system ensuring efficient use of funds and availability of everything that the military requires is in the best interest of all Ukrainians. How would you suggest corruption in the defense procurement sector should be reduced?
  4. Ukroboronprom accounts for a significant part of Ukraine’s defense sector. What measures are you planning to take to ensure effective management of this enterprise association?
  5. Legal or illegal trade with the occupied territories (Donbas and Crimea) creates corruption risks, including those in the army. How are you planning to resolve this problem?
  6. After the USSR fell apart, the Ministry of Defense inherited over 600,000 ha of land. It has already lost effective control over about 100,000 to corruption and ineffective management. Do you consider it a problem and what first steps are you planning to take to handle it?
  7. Currently, there are about 47,000 military families on the waiting list for housing in Ukraine. What measures are you planning to take to resolve this problem?

The defense sector reform and overcoming corruption in this system are key prerequisites for ensuring Ukraine’s national security. It is essential that presidential candidates answer these seven questions, since it will provide voters with valuable information and help them to understand the views of the next president on Ukraine’s future.

Volodymyr Ohryzko, co-chair of the NAKO

Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine Andrii Borovyk said the following about the selected questions: “During the past 5 years, Ukraine has been gradually but decidedly getting rid of the post-Soviet heritage and moving towards Euro-Atlantic values. However, some issues still remain. This questionnaire includes the key seven questions. They cannot be resolved with one decision any day now. Yet, these issues absolutely have to be resolved within five years. The candidates’ responses will demonstrate their awareness of the defense and security sector as well as their readiness to resolve problems in it, and how they are planning to do it. “

Apart from the questions to the presidential candidates, the NAKO has developed an online platform collecting the candidates’ responses and links to materials providing a better understanding of ways to tackle corruption in the defense and security sector.

The candidates’ responses will demonstrate their awareness of the defense and security sector as well as their readiness to resolve problems in it, and how they are planning to do it.

Andrii Borovyk, Executive Director of TI Ukraine