Odesa Governor Saakashvili signs cooperation memorandum with Assistant Secretary of State Brownfield. PHOTOS

Odesa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili has signed a memorandum with the United States, assuring American support in reforming the region.

The memorandum was counter-signed by William R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for drugs and law enforcement. It marks the first agreement between the U.S. and a regional Ukrainian government, Censor.NET reports citing Kyiv Post.

Posting pictures of the ceremony on his Facebook page, the former Georgian president said that the U.S. will assist in "reforming customs, administrative services and the provision of free legal services to volunteers." Police officers from California, who are training Odesa's new police patrol, were also present during the signing ceremony.

The U.S. State Department announced the forthcoming agreement Brownfield's visit via a website update on July 6, stating that it "strongly supports" Odesa's anti-corruption initiative.

Read more: Gambling business should be legalized, Odesa governor Saakashvili says

"We are funding an anti-corruption action team of Ukrainian and international experts in the governor's office, and launching a new anti-corruption grants program to broaden and deepen our cooperation with civil society partners," according to the State Department announcement.

Listing the key tenets of the increased support, the statement explains that the U.S. is providing "financial support and technical expertise to the Ministry of Internal Affairs as it works to select, train, and equip a new patrol police force for Odesa."

America has committed $15 million to support new police patrol units in Kyiv, Lviv and Kharkiv. The July 21 ceremony also marked the official deployment of the new patrol police in Odesa, who have been trained by the Californian Highway State Patrol to replace the old force.

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Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/p344721