The international community must support Ukraine’s fight against corruption and impunity; civil society’s role is to monitor this work
On the one year anniversary of the flight from Ukraine of former President Victor Yanukovych, Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, calls for him and his former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov to be extradited from Russia to face charges of corruption and embezzlement in Ukraine.
Transparency International also calls for immediate and greater cooperation between the judicial authorities in the European Union, Ukraine and Russia to seize and return to the Ukrainian people the assets of Yanukovych and his cronies.
José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International said: "There are strong actions that both the international community and the authorities in Ukraine and Russia can take to bring to justice those implicated in the corruption. It was corruption that led Ukrainians onto the streets one year ago and resulted in the killing of as many as 49 demonstrators by snipers.
“The guilty must not be allowed to hide themselves or their assets. There is an international warrant for the arrest of the former president and prime minister of Ukraine. These people should be handed over immediately to face the charges against them."
Investigations by Transparency International chapters in Ukraine and Russia have shown how in the last year Yanukovych has tried to hide his assets by re-registering them under different names to disguise his ownership.
Ukraine is also waiting for the next tranche of its international economic aid. This should have specific amounts set aside for the fight against corruption, including provisions for expert help.
"The international community must provide both the resources and the expertise to ensure that the new anti-corruption reforms passed by parliament in Ukraine can be implemented immediately. Lack of resources is hurting the fight against corruption,” said Ugaz. “Civil society is ready to ensure that any funds dedicated to fight corruption are accounted for. The Ukrainian government too must commit to greater transparency and to include civil society in this process."
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