Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said electronic financial declarations by officials should “immediately” be available to the public, vetoing a law that triggered an outcry across Ukraine.
Zelensky has stressed the need for transparency during the war, with several corruption scandals leading to the arrest or dismissal of public officials in recent months.
“Declarations should be open. Immediately. Not in a year. The registry should be opened now,” Zelensky said.
More than 80,000 Ukrainians last week signed a petition asking Zelensky to veto a law that would restore mandatory asset declarations for officials but keep them out of the public eye for another year.
“These restrictions are unacceptable,” Zelensky said, asking parliament to vote on opening the registries.
The author of the petition, Oleksandr Yabchanka, a senior lieutenant from the Da Vinci Wolves battalion, recently wounded at the front, told AFP he was “very happy” about the news.
“I live in a democratic country where public opinion has weight,” Yabchanka told AFP.
According to a poll released at the end of July by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), 89 percent of Ukrainians consider corruption a serious problem, only second to Russia’s invasion.
Several corruption scandals have rocked the defence ministry in recent months, leading to the resignation of defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov.
Since Russia invaded in February last year, Zelensky has repeatedly vowed to fight corruption in Ukraine — a key demand from Kyiv’s Western allies.