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Widespread corruption, a plunging currency and the ongoing conflict with Russia could harm Ukraine's reform efforts, which are a condition of crucial financial aid, the mayor of capital Kiev told CNBC.
"Everybody expects changes, everybody expects reforms but (this relies on) a very important point: we have to destroy corruption, with corruption any reform doesn't work," Kiev mayor and former boxer, Vitali Klitschko, said Wednesday.
In 2014, Ukraine was ranked 142 out of 175 countries on Transparency International's "Corruption Perceptions Index," putting it towards the "highly corrupt" end of the spectrum. It had the same level of corruption as Uganda and Comoros, according to the non-governmental organization, and was worse than countries like Nigeria and Russia.
Klitschko said the whole system in Ukraine was corrupt under former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich, who was removed from power a year ago.
He added that the current government, which is led by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was aiming to remove all those involved with corruption and to implement greater transparency in Ukraine.
Fighting corruption is a key condition in Ukraine receiving a vital financial aid package from international creditors to the tune of $40 billion, with a large chunk -- $17 billion -- coming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The first tranche of money has yet to be disbursed by the IMF, however, as it relies on key economic reforms being implemented.
In the meantime, Ukraine's economy appears to be rapidly deteriorating. It is battling a falling currency – the hyrvnia has weakened over 100 percent against the dollar over the last six months – and there are mixed messages from the country's central bank over what strategy to take to stem its decline.
On Wednesday, the Ukraine central bank surprised markets by preventing banks from most currency trading, only to then reverse the measures less than 24 hours later.
On top of this, the ongoing conflict with Russia has also hit its economy. Violence between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukraine military continues in eastern Ukraine, and is at the forefront of the government's priorities.
However, Klitschko said Ukraine had to tackle corruption right now.
"Right now, the one way that we can stabilize the economic situation in Ukraine is by destroying corruption," he told CNBC.
"We have to take the money from the shadows to the light, and make the economy work because it doesn't work effectively with corruption. This is the main goal not just for the capital of Ukraine, but…for the whole of Ukraine."
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