World Economy

Ukraine Corruption Worsening

Ukraine Corruption Worsening Ukraine Corruption Worsening

The manager of Danone Nutricia in Ukraine cannot for legal reasons say whether the Ukrainian tax authorities demanded bribes to drop an audit into his business. But he has one word to describe their aims and methods: “Mafia”, Reuters reported. Though it has been in Ukraine since 2001, the company, a subsidiary of French food group Danone, was handed a 15-20% higher tax bill after auditors spent five weeks looking for minor clerical errors in its accounts. Manager Tahsin Yasin said the audit, which the company is contesting, made him realize the government’s much-vaunted reforms were off-track, a gloomy prospect for a country battling an economic crash and a separatist war. Since coming to power in 2014, the pro-western government has pledged to stamp out the systemic graft that flourished under former president Viktor Yanukovich and kept Ukraine hooked on Russian money and cheap gas. But for many, corruption has stayed the same or even got worse, eroding public support for the authorities, deterring foreign investment and causing Ukraine’s western backers to question Kiev’s ability to deliver real change.