Ukraine appoints anti-corruption prosecutor ahead of EU membership

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by Natalia Zinets

KYIV (Reuters) – Kyiv on Thursday appointed veteran investigator Oleksandre Klymenko to head the national prosecutor’s office’s anti-corruption unit, as the European Union notably urged Ukraine to do more to crack down on corruption so it can join to the community bloc, after obtaining formal candidate status.

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said new Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin approved the appointment after a special commission chose Oleksandre Klymenko for the post.

This appointment puts an end to a long selection process that began following the resignation, nearly two years ago, of the former head of the fight against corruption.

Oleksandre Klymenko worked in the past at the national anti-corruption office, another public body specializing in the matter.

The EU formally granted Ukraine candidate status for membership of the EU bloc last month, the start of a long process during which, according to Brussels, the country will have to demonstrate that it meets European standards in various areas, including the fight against corruption.

“Whatever we have to do for that (integrate the EU, editor’s note), we will do it,” Volodimir Zelensky told the Ukrainian parliament on Thursday, stressing Kyiv’s desire to meet EU criteria.

The European ambassador to Ukraine welcomed the appointment of Oleksandre Klymenko. “Ukraine responds to one of the recommendations that came with EU candidate status,” Matti Maasikas wrote on Twitter.

(Report Natalia Zinets, with Max Hunder; French version Jean Terzian, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)

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