Biden Admin ‘Not Aware’ Of Any US Aid Linked To Ukrainian Corruption Scandal

(Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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President Joe Biden’s State Department is “not aware” of any link between U.S. assistance to Ukraine and a corruption scandal that led to the ouster of several top Ukrainian officials this week, Spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday.

Six top government officials as well as multiple regional governors in Ukraine resigned Tuesday after it was revealed that some officials had siphoned off of military purchases, among other allegations. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had suggested Monday that certain personnel changes were imminent within his government.

It was not immediately clear if any of the alleged corruption involved aid from the United States, but the State Department said Tuesday it was closely monitoring how all assistance to Ukraine is distributed and spent and that it was not aware of any issues connected to the resignations.

“We are not aware that any U.S. assistance was involved in what we’ve heard about in recent hours,” Price said at Tuesday’s press briefing. “We take extraordinarily seriously our responsibility to ensure appropriate oversight of all forms of U.S. assistance that we are delivering to Ukraine. We’re actively engaged with the Government of Ukraine to ensure accountability.”

Price did not indicate that a specific review of the reported corruption was underway: “We are always engaged in rigorous oversight and accountability. As of right now, we are certainly not aware that any U.S. assistance was involved in the allegations that we’ve heard about from our Ukrainian partners. But this is an ongoing effort.”

The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country last February. Among the allegations of corruption are that Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov overpaid on a contract for military food rations. (RELATED: Germany Greenlights Tanks For Ukraine After Allied Pressure Campaign)

Zelenskyy, who won Ukraine’s presidency in 2019, campaigned on a platform of anti-corruption in a country where such scandals have run rampant. He positioned himself as a political outsider who did not have governmental experience before becoming president.