EU concerned about Sobolev's possible dismissal as head of anti-corruption committee
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said he is concerned that members of the Verkhovna Rada committee on preventing and combating corruption decided to initiate the removal of Yehor Sobolev (Samopomich faction) from the post of the head of the committee, pointing to international concerns about the current events in the fight against corruption in Ukraine.
"We are therefore concerned that a majority of members of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Rada have agreed to recommend to the Rada the dismissal of the head of the committee, Mr. Sobolev. I would like to call on the Rada to think carefully before such a recommendation is voted in plenary, taking into account international concerns about current developments as regards the fight against corruption in Ukraine," reads the EU ambassador's response to the respective request of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
He also said that over the past years Ukraine had taken important steps to strengthen the fight against corruption, noting the contribution of the Verkhovna Rada's Anti-Corruption Committee.
"The Anti-Corruption Committee under its current Head Sobolev has done very important and impressive work over the past years in helping to set up new anti-corruption bodies and ensuring that Ukraine fulfilled VLAP [Visa Liberalization Action Plan] conditions related to the fight against corruption. Every citizen of Ukraine and friends of Ukraine can be proud of these achievements," Mingarelli said.
The diplomat stressed the need to protect new institutions, such as NABU, and that they should be given space and resources to work to demonstrate results in the fight against corrupt officials. He said that the Verkhovna Rada and the Anti-Corruption Committee should play an important role here.
According to him, attempts to undermine the fight against corruption will be a setback to Ukraine's reform process and will not pass unnoticed.