Ukraine Approves Anti-Corruption Court, Fires Finance Minister

Ukraine's parliament has voted to establish an anti-corruption court in an effort to meet the criteria to receive $17.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund.

Before the IMF releases the funds needed to shore up Ukraine's struggling economy, it will have make sure the court's laws are IMF compliant. The West has repeatedly called on Ukraine to reform it political system and establish an independent body to fight corruption.

"What we'll be looking to see is that it ensures the establishment of an independent and trustworthy anti-corruption court that meets the expectation of the Ukrainian people," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said at a briefing Thursday.

President Petrol Poroshenko said the court was in line with Western recommendations and Ukrainian law.

Last year Poroshenko rejected the need for an anti-corruption court, saying such institutions are needed in "Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia and Croatia" but not in Western Europe or the United States.

While the approval of the court was seen as a positive, Ukraine also likely dismayed the West by firing Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk, a respected reform advocate.

Danylyuk's ouster came after he took on Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, accusing him of stalling reforms of the state tax service that are needed to combat corruption.

Before the parliament voted on his ouster, Danylyuk addressed the lawmakers, telling them he had been accused of "defending the interests of international organizations."

But, "I am defending the interests of Ukrainians," he said.

Source: Voice of America

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