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Ukraine appoints anti-corruption prosecutor, answering EU request

Ukraine appoints anti-corruption prosecutor, answering EU request

Reuters · 07/28/2022 07:55
Ukraine appoints anti-corruption prosecutor, answering EU request

By Natalia Zinets

- Ukraine confirmed experienced investigator Oleksandr Klymenko as the head of its Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office on Thursday, responding to a European Union request as it seeks EU membership.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app that Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin's first important decision since being voted into office on Wednesday had been to sign off on Klymenko's appointment.

"The fight against corruption is a priority for our state, as our investment attractiveness and business freedom depend on its success," Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelenskiy's presidential office, wrote on Telegram.

Klymenko was appointed after a long selection process following his predecessor's resignation two years ago. He previously worked for the anti-corruption bureau, another state body that tackles corruption.

Progress in fighting corruption is one of Kyiv's long-term commitments to its Western partners and its of financial, political and military support has increased sharply since Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

The EU granted Ukraine candidate status earlier this month, putting it on the long road to membership, but said important work remained to be done including on fighting corruption.

In a video address to Ukraine's parliament on July 1, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that such work included appointing an anti-corruption prosecutor as soon as possible.

"Ukraine delivers on one of the recommendations that accompanied the EU candidate status," Matti Maasikas, the EU ambassador to Ukraine, wrote on Twitter. "A long selection process finalised, offering lessons. I wish Mr Klymenko strength and courage!"

The United States also welcomed Klymenko's appointment.

"His office plays a crucial role in Ukraine's anti-corruption infrastructure and is a key element of Ukraine's defense against Russia's influence and aggression," Bridget Brink, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, wrote on Twitter.

(Editing by Timothy Heritage)

((timothy.heritage@thomsonreuters.com; +442501122; Reuters Messaging: timothy.heritage.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.))