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Note to Editors - 12 January 2006

Ukraine becomes 40th member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO)

“Corruption is an enemy of democracy because it corrodes the confidence of the people in their institutions. Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, said on the occasion of the accession of Ukraine to the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption monitoring mechanism on 1 January.

“During his visit to the Council of Europe a year ago, President Yushchenko singled out the fight against corruption as the key priority of his administration. The accession of Ukraine to the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) – as its 40th member - is an important step in reaching this objective”.

By joining GRECO Ukraine has committed itself to participate in GRECO’s mutual evaluation process. An on-site evaluation visit to Ukraine will take place in 2006 and will focus on such issues as corruption in public administration, the authorities in charge of investigating and prosecuting corruption offences, the immunity from prosecution enjoyed by certain holders of public office, preventing the use of legal persons as shields for corruption, and the measures for taking away the profits made by persons involved in corruption.

Representatives of Ukraine will attend GRECO’s first Plenary Meeting in 2006 (6 - 10 March).

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GRECO is an enlarged partial agreement established in 1999 within the Council of Europe and currently comprises 40 member States (