Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Tuesday he is unmoved by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy’s announcement that he fired top officials in an effort to weed out corruption, and said that effort isn’t enough to get him to support more Ukraine aid funding.
“There is no amount of ‘purges’ that will suddenly make me support giving money to Ukraine,” Gaetz said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Ukraine has been corrupt for decades. It was named ‘the most corrupt nation in Europe’ in 2015. We don’t even give money to American agencies without oversight, so why would we do the same with Ukraine?” Gaetz asked.
“Our laws require close end-to-end monitoring of military equipment sent into a conflict zone,” he added. “I’m deeply concerned that we are not following these laws and are instead trusting the assertions of Ukrainians – the likes of which were fired today.”
Gaetz is one of the GOP hardliners who has continually opposed sending aid to Ukraine, and refused to stand or clap for Zelenskyy during his address to Congress last December.
Zelenskyy announced that a deputy prosecutor general, a deputy defense minister and the deputy chief of staff in his office vacated their positions Tuesday morning, and that more firings were likely to come.
“We have already made personnel decisions – some today, some tomorrow – regarding officials of various levels in ministries and other central government bodies, in the regions, and in the law enforcement system,” Zelenskyy said in his overnight address.
That news came just two days after a deputy infrastructure minister was arrested over accusations that he stole $400,000 from funds received under contracts for generator purchases as Ukraine struggles to keep the lights on across the country.