U.S. urges Ukraine to abolish requirement for anti-graft activists to declare assets

13:55, 31 March 2018
Politics
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REUTERS

Spokesperson for the U.S. Department Heather Nauert says the United States urges the Ukrainian government to repeal legislation that requires the asset declarations from civil society and international members of state-owned-enterprise supervisory boards.

"The United States strongly encourages the government of Ukraine to repeal legislation that requires the asset declarations from civil society and international members of state-owned-enterprise supervisory boards," reads the statement published on the State Department website on March 30.

Read alsoEU's Hahn urges Rada to relieve civil activists from filing e-declarations"Ukraine's asset declaration system should hold public officials accountable and not place unnecessary burdens or pressure on civil society. This punitive law targets those very individuals who seek to increase transparency and accountability in Ukraine, fulfilling the promises of the Euromaidan and the Ukrainian people's aspirations for a democratic country governed by the rule of law," Nauert said.

"We urge the Ukrainian government to expeditiously cancel the asset declaration requirements, in line with recommendations by the Venice Commission, and, in the interim, provide a temporary amnesty for those individuals who do not file declarations by the upcoming deadline," she added.

Read alsoVenice Commission criticizes Ukraine's bills on financial disclosure requirements for NGOs, activistsAs UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on March 27, 2017, enacted the No. 6172 law on amendments to Article 3 of the Ukrainian Law on Prevention of Corruption, introducing e-declaration for non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The law sparked harsh criticism on the part of civil society in Ukraine as well as the U.S. and EU. A number of foreign partners called it a "step back".

The Venice Commission stated that the requirements for the anti-corruption activists to submit e-declarations of assets should be completely removed from the relevant law or significantly narrowed.

On March 21, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Prevention and Combating Corruption recommended that the parliament adopt bills proposing to postpone the provision of e-declarations by civil activists.

On March 22, the parliament refused to consider said bills.

On March 28, 2018, Poroshenko called on the Verkhovna Rada to repeal the legislative requirement for civil activists to submit asset declarations.

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy proposed to adopt the relevant legislative amendments on April 3.

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