EBRD steps up cooperation with Ukrainian authorities in fight against corruption

By Anthony Williams
@ebrdtony

The EBRD has stepped up its cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities in their joint bid to improve the investment climate in the country and especially to eradicate corruption.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti held talks in London on 15 February with Ukraine’s Minister of Revenues and Taxes, Olexander Klymenko. The two parties agreed to work together to address the urgent need to improve the business climate in Ukraine.

They were taking forward plans agreed earlier this month between the EBRD President and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev.

Speaking after the London meeting, President Chakrabarti noted that the EBRD’s clients were increasingly concerned about corruption and unfair business practices, especially when dealing with the tax and customs authorities.

He noted that the Ukrainian leadership had agreed to work with the EBRD on these issues.

But he stressed, “We need to see concrete steps taken rapidly. It will not be enough to pass laws. They have to be fairly implemented to ensure a level playing field. Action needs to be taken to stamp out corruption at all levels.”

Sir Suma noted that, in the short-term, the two parties would be working on the establishment of a public-private working group on corruption and of an independent Ombudsman protecting business interests.

In the longer-term they would be developing a comprehensive Anti-Corruption Initiative. The EBRD would be pushing hard for this in the coming weeks, months and beyond.

“This will take a lot of work,” he said. “We need an Anti-Corruption Initiative that really stands up.”

The EBRD is the biggest investor in Ukraine where the Bank has invested over €8 billion in over 315 different projects.