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US appoints chief inspector for Ukraine aid

Inspector General of the US DOD Robert Storch will be based directly in Ukraine for the first time since February 2022. Storch will lead an on-site monitoring team that will work closely with the State Department and USAID to supervise the allocation of around $113 billion in American assistance that has gone to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
US appoints chief inspector for oversight of Ukraine aid
Robert Storch, Inspector General of the US Department of Defense. Photo: www.dodig.mil
US appoints chief inspector for Ukraine aid

Inspector Robert Storch will start his work on 18 October,  Pentagon announced. He has already assembled his team in Ukraine, and American colleagues will arrive at the end of September. The team will report quarterly to Congress on Ukraine’s provision and use of American military assistance.

Storch is an American lawyer and civil servant who served as a justice advisor at the US Embassy in Ukraine from 2007 to 2009. In 2014, he assisted in drafting legislation to establish Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).

Highlighting his continued engagement with Ukraine, in 2017, Storch was nominated by a Ukrainian parliamentary committee focused on anti-corruption efforts for a position auditing NABU’s activities. Although Ukraine’s parliament ultimately did not confirm him, Storch’s nomination signals his recognized expertise in Ukrainian anti-corruption institutions.

The White House’s request for $24 billion in additional aid to Ukraine is currently being debated in Congress. While there is bipartisan support for continuing to assist Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, some Republicans have raised concerns about oversight of the aid packages.

Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and other GOP members have called on the Biden administration to strengthen anti-corruption measures and monitor how Ukraine spends the aid money. Wicker and his Republican colleagues praised the appointment of Robert Storch as the Inspector General for Ukraine.

“Appointing a lead Inspector General will help ensure that Congress supports Ukraine’s defense in the most responsible and effective way possible,” Wicker said.

Previously, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, reiterated Kyiv’s willingness to allow more extensive oversight of American assistance. According to her, the US already has three watchdogs from the Pentagon, State Department, and USAID tracking the aid, and they have not found evidence of widespread abuses.

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