By Natalia Zinets
KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine appointed experienced investigator Oleksandr Klymenko as the head of its Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday, answering a European Union request as it seeks EU membership.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said new Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin had signed off on Klymenko’s appointment after the investigator was chosen by a special selection committee.
Klymenko was appointed after a long selection process following his predecessor’s resignation nearly two years ago. He previously worked for the national anti-corruption bureau, another state body that tackles corruption.
The EU granted Ukraine candidate status this month, putting it on the long road to membership, but said Kyiv still had work to do in several areas including fighting corruption and called for the appointment of an anti-corruption prosecutor.
“Everything that we must do for this (EU membership), we will do,” Zelenskiy told parliament on Thursday, underlining Kyiv’s commitment to meeting the EU’s entry requirements.
Matti Maasikas, the EU ambassador to Ukraine, welcomed Klymenko’s appointment.
“Ukraine delivers on one of the recommendations that accompanied the EU candidate status,” he wrote on Twitter.
Underlining the importance of Klymenko’s confirmation in office, Bridget Brink, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, wrote on Twitter: “His office plays a crucial role in Ukraine’s anti-corruption infrastructure and is a key element of Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s influence and aggression.”
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, visiting Kyiv, promised continued military, humanitarian and financial assistance in Ukraine’s war against Russia and support for Ukraine on the road to EU accession.
“We will continue to provide expert assistance and work together to accelerate the start of negotiations on EU membership,” he told the Ukrainian parliament.
He presented Zelenskiy with the Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain, Lithuania’s highest state award, “for his merits in defending freedom and democratic values in Europe together with the Ukrainian people”.
(Additonal rpeorting by Max Hunder, Editing by Timothy Heritage)