Zelensky briefs G7 ambassadors on steps to resolve constitutional crisis

Zelensky briefs G7 ambassadors on steps to resolve constitutional crisis

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has presented to the G7 and EU ambassadors the ways out of the constitutional crisis in Ukraine and said that criminal liability for false information in asset declarations should be restored by the end of the year.

He said this during a video meeting with diplomats with the participation of Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak and Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine Artem Sytnyk, the presidential press service reported.

"Volodymyr Zelensky presented concrete steps to emerge from the constitutional crisis. Among them are restoring criminal liability for lies in asset declarations by the end of the year, returning all control functions to the NACP (National Agency on Corruption Prevention) and resolving the issue of the Constitutional Court," the President's Office said.

Zelensky said he did not accept the latest decisions by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

"I categorically did not accept the recent decision by the Constitutional Court to cancel some of the provisions on anti-corruption legislation. It has actually reset the entire anti-corruption system to zero," Zelensky said, addressing the ambassadors.

He noted that the priority task of the Ukrainian authorities was to ensure the continuous operation of anti-corruption bodies and to restore the system of electronic asset declaration.

He recalled that he had recently had a detailed conversation on this issue with President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio, who offered the commission's examination in this difficult situation.

Zelensky said that the Ukrainian authorities faced a more strategic task - the reform of the judiciary.

"I am convinced that there is an urgent need to restore the confidence of Ukrainian citizens in the judiciary. Now is the best time to implement judicial reform," he said.

He said that the work of the Commission on Legal Reform at the President's Office, aimed at reforming the judiciary in Ukraine, had been resumed.

He also said that consultations were currently being held with international partners on relevant legislative initiatives.

The G7 ambassadors, in turn, stressed that they support the president's efforts to implement judicial reform, which is a key factor in Ukraine's transition to a new level of European integration.

According to the report, the diplomats fully supported the quick reaction of the Ukrainian authorities to the decision of the Constitutional Court.

"The parties agreed that it is necessary to ensure the procedure for the fair and transparent selection of new judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine," the report reads.

On October 27, the Constitutional Court repealed Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code on penalties for lies in asset declarations and some provisions of the law "On Corruption Prevention." In particular, the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) to verify officials' asset declarations, monitor the lifestyle of those who submit asset declarations, establish the timeliness of submission of asset declarations, as well as provisions on open access to declarations in the single state register.

In connection with the decision of the Constitutional Court, President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on October 29 to determine measures for the state's immediate response to new threats and challenges to national security and defense. The decision was made at the meeting to reopen public access to the unified state register of asset declarations, to ensure the holding of special verifications by the NACP.

On October 30, Zelensky tabled in the Verkhovna Rada his bill "On Renewal of Public Confidence in Constitutional Judiciary" (No. 4288), proposing to terminate the powers of the current composition of the Constitutional Court. However, the parliament has not yet supported the document.

On November 2, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Dmytro Razumkov said the parliament planned to resume electronic declaration with a new law.


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