It’s Time to Combat the Corruption
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of his desire to assert his dominance over Ukraine, and to undermine Ukrainian businesses and individuals far beyond the borders of Ukraine. Unfortunately, there are growing concerns that corrupt Romanian politicians and bureaucrats at the Autoritatea de Supraveghere Financiara (ASF) may be aiding these efforts by unfairly targeting Euroins Insurance Group (EIG) with unjust regulatory interference — the only Romanian insurer providing critical maritime cargo for grain shipments and travel insurance for Ukrainians fleeing their country. By doing so, they may be directly contributing to Putin’s efforts to undermine the Ukrainian economy and destabilize the broader international community.
Maritime cargo insurance is a critical component of global trade, providing protection for goods in transit across the world. In the context of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, this coverage is particularly essential, as it allows Ukrainian businesses to ship goods abroad and maintain important trade relationships. Without such insurance, they simply cannot engage in international commerce.
Despite the critical importance of maritime cargo and travel insurance for Ukraine, the Romanian government has thus far failed to take meaningful action to address Putin’s efforts to undermine these industries. It may not fully appreciate the significance of these industries. While the Biden administration and other European governments are taking steps to support Ukraine through direct financial aid and economic sanctions against Russia, the Romanian government has not focused on the critical role that insurance companies play in providing protection and support for Ukrainian businesses and individuals. By allowing Russian pressure to continue to erode these industries, the Romanian government is failing to fully support Ukraine in its efforts to resist Russian aggression.
While corruption is certainly a problem in many countries, it is particularly concerning in the context of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. By accepting bribes or other forms of corrupt payment from Russian entities, corrupt Romanian politicians, and bureaucrats at the AFS may be directly contributing to Putin’s efforts to undermine Ukraine and destabilize the broader international community. These individuals may be using their positions to influence regulatory decisions or steer business away from Euroins in a way that is detrimental not only to Euroins, but the greater international business and investor community.
To address these concerns, it is critical that the Romanian government takes proactive steps to root out corruption and ensure that politicians and bureaucrats at the AFS are held accountable for any illicit activities. This could include strengthening anti-corruption laws and regulations, increasing transparency and accountability at the AFS, and providing additional resources and training to law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute corruption cases.
In addition, it is important for international partners to continue working together to support Ukraine and counter Russian aggression. This could include providing financial support to Euroins and other Ukrainian insurers, engaging in diplomatic efforts to pressure Romanian regulators to cease their unfair and aggressively overreaching activities, and collaborating on intelligence and law enforcement efforts to identify and disrupt corrupt activities.
Many Americans are concerned that the current US Policy of almost unlimited financial support — that is even paying the pensions of Ukrainians — isn’t well calculated to help Ukraine defend itself and repel the Russian attack. It is entirely rational to oppose sending a never ending stream of billions of dollars of cash and to be frustrated by the fact that as this conflict was developing, the Biden Administration slow walked helping Ukraine obtain the needed military tools to discourage and defeat the Russian invasion.
This conflict has been going on for more than a year and has no signs of ending anytime soon because of the feckless policies of the Biden Administration that have done little to convince Russia it was a bad idea to launch its attack, or to actually strengthen Ukraine early on when it mattered most. But we’ve provided boatloads of cash which have been used to pay pensions, pad pockets., and even get laundered money funneled back into Democratic campaign coffers. All of this has been done to the detriment of the average American and the American economy. And it has done little to actually help Ukrainian forces push the Russian invaders out of Ukraine.
Oddly, there is little evidence that Russia has been harmed by its aggression. The Biden Administration has bragged about its “tough sanctions,” but what we see is a Russian economy that is doing surprisingly well and thus able to fund Russian aggression, not only in Ukraine, but around the globe via the Wagner group — in places like Sudan — where the lives of thousands of Americans are now at risk.
It is time for America and the world to take seriously the idea of cracking down on those who are funding Russia’s aggression and international murder and terrorism. And cracking down on those who are aiding Russia in evading the world’s sanctions, or are corruptly using their government’s regulatory power to endanger and destabilize Ukraine as a favor to Russia is something that will do a great deal more good than sending pallets of cash to Ukraine. And it has the added benefit of not bankrupting America.
In the US, we have the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act which allows us to sanction foreign persons for their human rights violations and significant acts of corruption. Most other nations have laws prohibiting corruption. It is time for the Biden Administration and our allies to use the laws to clamp down on Russia and those corrupt kleptocrats that are aiding Putin’s objectives. This will do a great deal more to hamper and clamp down on Putin than sending endless pallets of cash could ever do.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Newslooks.com