Ukrainian Lawmakers OK Bills On Reforms Requested By Western Donors

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has approved several draft laws aimed at reforming the judiciary and curbing corruption as Kyiv seeks to secure more loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under a $5 billion financing program approved last year.

The bills approved by Ukrainian lawmakers on June 29 include a draft law on reestablishing the High Judicial Council (VRP), a special commission on appointing judges and other related activities.

According to the bill, international experts will comprise the majority of the VRP's staff members, while a special service of disciplinary inspectors will control the VRP's work.

Another bill approved in its final reading by Ukrainian lawmakers on June 29 is a law to impose jail sentences on officials who make false income or asset declarations.

That bill stipulates that officials who do not submit asset declarations or fail to declare assets worth more than 4.2 million hryvnyas ($150,000) could face up to one year in jail.

The bills officially become laws once they are published.

Last year, the IMF approved the $5 billion loan program and disbursed the first tranche of $2.1 billion to help the Ukrainian economy as it struggled with the coronavirus pandemic and systemic corruption woes.

However, further loans have been put on hold due to the slow pace of reforms and anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.

With reporting by Reuters and UNIAN