Zelensky discusses anti-corruption crisis with G7 ambassadors

20 November 2020

President Zelensky offered a few specifics of resolving the problematic rulings made by the Constitutional Court in recent months during a Nov. 19 videoconference with the ambassadors of G7 countries, his website reported that day. As his proposed solutions, Zelensky mentioned the renewal of criminal responsibility for fraud in e-declarations, the recovery of all the powers of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (which were cancelled by the scandalous court ruling of Oct. 27), as well as “resolving issues of the Constitutional Court.” This could be an indication that he still intends to dismiss all the judges.

 

Separately, the conference participants discussed the court’s August ruling on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) that undermined the legitimacy of the bureau’s director, Artem Sytnyk. In his turn, Zelensky assured the ambassadors that the August ruling won’t undermine the bureau's status and verbally guaranteed to them that Sytnyk will retain his position, the president's website said. Sytnyk, who also participated in the discussion, affirmed the president’s position.

 

Alexander Paraschiy: The ostensible consensus between Zelensky and Sytnyk seems to have been dictated by the fierce position of Western governments, which have been supporting Sytnyk. They seem to have tied their financial aid to the independence of the NABU, which, in their eyes, is related to Sytnyk remaining as the bureau’s director. (Recall, just after the August court ruling, Zelensky’s office named Sytnyk the “acting NABU director”). All this means Ukraine is seriously seeking ways to restart active dialogue with Western governments and IFIs on financial support, which is encouraging in and of itself.

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