Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has urged lawmakers to find a compromise and pass a bill on special confiscation helping to return crime assets of former officials to the national budget.
"You ask when my address [to the Verkhovna Rada regarding the adoption of the bill on special confiscation] will be? I am doing it now. Dear lawmakers, I stress as the president and as the commander-in-chief to find and submit those amendments you believe necessary, hold all required consultations between political forces and make the decision about special confiscation, as this is a financing tool, including financing of our national defense," Poroshenko told reporters at a briefing in Kharkiv last week.
"Any deviations from the process would mean that we simply work for criminals who stole and illegally removed huge sums of money from Ukraine and want to hide behind various schemes. I am sure that we must not allow them to do this," the president said.
He said that he is waiting for the quick adoption of some other bills (on the formation of the High Council of Justice, bills concerning the improvement of investment climate in Ukraine and decentralisation).
On September 14, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers approved the bill on special confiscation and sent it to parliament.
The Ukrainian government managed to have $1.5 billion related to the corrupt regime of former President Viktor Yanukovych, seized in 2014, according to Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko.
The bill was drafted with the participation of Ukrainian lawmakers and was endorsed by experts from the European Commission.
Yet, despite the government's appeals, parliament has so far failed to pass the special confiscation bill, which would let seized assets be funnelled to the national budget, the minister said.