Switzerland and Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) and National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on the occasion of the visit of the Swiss President to Kyiv.

Formally signed on 21 July, the MoU is the basis for the continued engagement of our International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) with these two Ukrainian institutions in the fight against corruption.

Corruption remains a major problem in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, threatening economic development and political stability as well as the credibility of governments. While some progress has been made in adopting anti-corruption laws in all five countries, the capture of important institutions by powerful interests is seriously undermining the effective enforcement of these laws.

The Basel Institute worked closely with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to develop the Business Reporting Institution for the Ukraine, which represents a High Level Reporting Mechanism to address business corruption risks. An official agreement in respect of this new Institution was due to be signed in early November by the EBRD and the Government of Ukraine.

This process has currently been postponed by the Ukraine Government due to their need and request for further legal clarifications prior to the final signing of such agreement.

On 12 May 2014, the Government of Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and several business associations, addressing bribery and promoting transparency and accountability.

Mandated by the EBRD to develop a mechanism to address unfair business practices and bribery for the purpose of improving the overall business climate in Ukraine, including prospects for foreign investment, the Basel Institute assisted in the set up of this MoU.

On 24 April, the Ukraine Anti-Corruption Action Centre, jointly with Ukrainska Prvada & GOPAC Ukraine, hosted an international conference to discuss and identify challenges relating to the recovery of assets stolen by former President Yanukovych and his associates, and thereby to initiate a (inter-) national dialogue to address these challenges. ICAR spoke on modalities for the return of stolen assets, alongside senior representatives from the Ukraine government and Canada, the European Union, Switzerland and the US, as well as specialist civil society organisations.

Mandated by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to assist with tracing and recovering assets stolen by the former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and his inner circle, and with funding from the local office of the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), ICAR conducted a five-day training workshop in financial investigation and asset recovery for the National Prosecution Academy of Ukraine in Kyiv from 19 to 23 January 2015.

In an endeavour to recover assets stolen by former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and his close allies, the Ukraine Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) is working closely with ICAR. On 12 November 2015, Basel Institute on Governance Managing Director Gretta Fenner met with Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in Kyiv to take stock of the cooperation between the two bodies and re-confirm their continued commitment to work jointly towards this common goal.

On 22 March 2017, the Basel Institute on Governance and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) have entered into an agreement whereby ICAR will assist NABU in strengthening their capacities to conduct complex investigations into cases of grand corruption, money laundering and related financial crimes. The support involves both assistance in on-going investigations as well as providing ICAR’s signature training.

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine (GPO) mandated the Basel Institute on Governance’s International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) to assist with tracing and recovering assets stolen by former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and his inner circle. The agreement was signed on Monday, 11 August 2014, in Kyiv by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Mr Vitaliy Yarema, and Basel Institute Managing Director Ms Gretta Fenner.