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OECD to consider Ukraine’s membership application in late Sept – Yermak.

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak has held a meeting with the heads of foreign diplomatic missions, dedicated to Ukraine’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the establishment of an ad hoc criminal tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

The meeting was attended by the heads of the embassies of the United States, France, Canada, Italy, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom and the EU Delegation to Ukraine, an Ukrinform correspondent reports, referring to the Office of the President of Ukraine.

Initially, Yermak noted the positive news that had recently been coming from the front and thanked the partner countries for the help provided to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in the war against Russia.

At the same time, Yermak noted that, even amid the full-scale war, Ukraine is making progress in terms of reforms.

Yermak reminded that Ukraine seeks to join the OECD and the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. Ukraine’s application for the OECD membership will be considered at the meeting of the OECD Council at the end of September 2022, and the official request to join the OECD Working Group should be considered at its meeting on October 10-14, 2022.

Yermak asked the diplomats to promote their countries’ support for the relevant decisions.

“Thanks to its unique experience in supporting the post-war reconstruction process, the OECD should act as one of the key international players during the reconstruction of Ukraine. But, it is important for us not just to restore the Ukrainian economy after the war. We strive to build an extremely successful democratic country,” Yermak said.

In his words, participation and membership in the OECD Working Group on Bribery is also very important to Ukraine, because the country is working hard to make processes in its public and private sectors as transparent and accountable as possible.

“Post-war Ukraine should become extremely attractive for investments. For this purpose, every investor must be sure that his legal rights and interests are protected. Therefore, we are working on strengthening anti-corruption institutions, reforming the justice system, strengthening all law enforcement agencies,” Yermak noted.

United States Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink expressed her support for Ukraine’s desire for membership in the OECD and the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

“I believe that this is a very positive signal regarding Ukraine’s commitment to fighting corruption and continuing reforms. This will be an important signal for international investors, in particular the American business community,” Brink said.

Yermak also briefed the heads of foreign diplomatic missions on Ukraine’s initiative to establish an ad hoc criminal tribunal, the mandate of which will extend exclusively to prosecute the crime of aggression.

“We call on your countries to support this idea, because the crime of aggression must not go unpunished. The crime of aggression, for which the world did not have the courage to punish Russia in 2008, when it came to Georgia. The crime of aggression that the world ignored, when Russia came to Crimea and eastern Ukraine,” Yermak stressed.

Yermak mentioned that yesterday another mass burial of innocent people, tortured and killed, was found in the city of Izium, liberated from Russian occupiers.

“All these war crimes must be investigated and every guilty person must be punished. In addition, this is another argument for recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Yermak emphasized.

According to Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Smyrnov, specific persons are guilty of the crime of aggression, and its legal proof is as simple as possible and does not require complex examinations and numerous interrogations.

Smyrnov noted that the Ukrainian side is finalizing the draft international agreement on establishing such tribunal to start negotiations on its signing.

Answering the question of Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk, Smyrnov said that Ukraine is in favor of creating a tribunal based on an open international treaty, which various civilized countries will join.

“It’s key for Ukraine that this tribunal be as authoritative as possible from the very beginning. And this requires the support of your countries,” Smyrnov added.

Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Larisa Galadza stressed the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for the horrific crimes committed during Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Ambassador of the French Republic to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins said that France would support Ukraine in the investigation of war crimes by sending relevant specialists in the near future.

Yermak noted the importance of such assistance to ensure that all relevant actions take place quickly, since new and new crimes are discovered with the liberation of the occupied territories.

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

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