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Ukraine MPs back making officials’ asset statements public

Kyiv opens corruption investigation into arms procurement
Source: Pixabay

Ukrainian lawmakers on Wednesday voted to grant the public access to the financial declarations of officials following a public uproar and calls for a clampdown on corruption.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to stamp out graft in wartime Ukraine as part of reforms needed to gain membership to Western institutions such as the European Union.

Parliamentarian Yaroslav Zheleznyak wrote on social media that lawmakers had amended legislation on “restoring e-declarations” that were suspended when Russia invaded last year.

He posted a photo showing that 341 out of 450 lawmakers had voted in favour of restoring the law.

Zelensky said last week that the electronic financial declarations should be made available to the public “immediately”.

His call came after a petition with more than 80,000 signatures circulated urging him to veto a law that would keep officials’ declarations out of the public eye for another year.

The Anti-Corruption Action Center, an advocacy group, said in response that the vote had gone through because of public pressure.

“Ukrainians did not swallow the previous vote, which the deputies planned to use to keep the declarations of officials closed for another year,” the organisation said in a social media statement.

The declarations will be accessible online 60 days after the legislation comes into effect, lawmaker and chief of the anti-corruption parliamentary committee Anastasia Radina said on Facebook.

The Anti-Corruption Action Center said that time frame was needed to protect the security of servicemen.

A poll in July by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found that 89 percent of Ukrainians believe corruption is a serious problem, second only to Russia’s invasion.

Several graft scandals have rocked the defence ministry and other public bodies in recent months, leading to the resignation of defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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