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Viktor Chumak on Situation in Crimea, Changes in Anti-Corruption Legislation and Importance of Vetting

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Kyiv, March, 7th, 2014 – Viktor Chumak, MP, Head of Organized Crime Control and Anti-Corruption Committee of the Parliament, after arriving from Crimea earlier today confirmed that we’re witnessing open occupation of the peninsula.

He observed that in Simferopol government building are being blocked by persons of criminal look, headed by military commanders. However, they are truly headed by “political commanders” (ideological commanders existing back in the Soviet army). Mr. Chumak noted that despite tremendous pressure on the Ukrainian military units they are in high moral spirits and are ready to stand for as long as required. The main task for the Ukrainian military as of now is avoiding the use of the weapons. The MP also noted that the Russian soldiers told him in one-on-one conversations that they will not shoot. The question that the Russian cannot give an answer to is who exactly they are protecting and from whom.

Commenting on the behavioral strategy of the Ukrainian military, V.Chumak said that the key task is to avoid provocations and ensure peace at the peninsula. Ukrainian troops will not use force first, but they are ready for power confrontation and all units are performing their tasks to the full extent.

Answering the question about corruption problems in Ukraine, V.Chumak said that first of all political will is required to address the problem. The current legislation makes it possible to significantly reduce the level of corruption. Another bill is also being prepared to approve an anti-corruption strategy. The Parliamentary Organized Crime Control and Anti-Corruption Committee works closely with non-governmental organizations: the committee comprises a community expert council which includes representatives of NGO’s and is engaged in combatting corruption. Additionally, Mr. Chumak noted that an investigation team is already functioning to inquire into cases of corruption abuse. ‘We have already stopped UAH400M worth of procurement under unlawful tenders’, said V. Chumak.

An important step, according to Mr. Chumak, is to pass a vetting law. ‘To this end, we are actively cooperating with the vetting committee to come up with the criteria that would be accepted by the society. Vetting is not a sledge hammer, not even a regular hammer, but rather a scalpel which needs to be handled with extreme care’, he said.

Viktor Chumak, Lawyer, MP, Head of Organized Crime Control and Anti-Corruption Committee of the Parliament, Major General of Justice. Prior to 2010, headed the Department of Analysis and Security of International Centre for Policy Studies. From 2010 to 2012 he was a Director of the Ukrainian Institute for Public Policy. Since December 2012 he has been an MP from the UDAR Party.


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