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On March 4, the commission responsible for electing the director of Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau announced three candidates who will continue to compete for the position. The remaining candidates are Semen Kryvonos, Serhii Hupiak, and Roman Osypchuk.
Kryvonos currently serves as the head of the State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning, while Hupiak works in the Department of the State Investigation Bureau in Khmelnytskyi Oblast. Osypchuk heads the Department of Internal Control at the NABU.
The Cabinet of Ministers will select the final winner, who will hold the post of director.
The term of the NABU's previous chief, Artem Sytnyk, expired in April 2022.
The appointment of an independent NABU chief who is free from political influence has been one of the critical requirements of Ukraine's Western partners. It is also a fundamental condition for Ukraine's accession to the European Union.
Ukraine's progress towards opening EU accession talks will be evaluated twice this year, with an interim oral assessment taking place in the spring.
Membership in the European Union has long been a key aspiration for Ukraine, which is reflected in the Ukrainian Constitution among the main goals.
In September, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine had the ambition to become a full-fledged member of the EU in two years.
To achieve that goal, the country needs to fulfill European Commission conditions on issues related to justice, the rule of law, and anti-corruption efforts, and then proceed with the negotiation process regarding EU membership.