I blogged last December about the urgent need to tackle corruption in Ukraine, which had slid to place 146 (out of 180) in Transparency International's corruption index for 2009.  Since the election of President Yanukovych, the new Ukrainian government has announced several anti-corruption measures, including welcome steps to deregulate business.  That in turn could help cut the number of opportunities for corruption.  But many Ukrainian and foreign business people continue to tell me that corruption is a major problem in Ukraine - even at the simplest level of the reputation of the traffic police for demanding bribes.  My perception, therefore, is that there is not yet persuasive evidence of significant improvement.  I hope the Ukrainian government will continue to make this a priority, with a view to removing what amounts to a massive handicap to economic growth and prosperity in Ukraine.   Paying bribes raises costs, impairs competition and reduces services to the detriment of everyone - but particularly the weakest members of society.  It would be good to see Ukraine begin to climb the Transparency International table when the next edition appears later this year.

Meanwhile the United Kingdom has announced that new legislation to combat bribery will enter into force in April 2011.  You can read a set of questions and answers about the proposed new legislation on our embassy website.  The new legislation will mean that all British companies operating in Ukraine, and non-British companies operating in Ukraine which undertake commercial business in the United Kingdom, will have to be able to demonstrate that they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery which meet the requirements of the Act.  If your business falls into either category - or if you're interested in what the UK is doing to tackle bribery and corruption - check out the questions and answers at the link now.  

Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting: 

Ukrayinska Dumka


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