Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a bill on an anticorruption court, an institution the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Western governments say is crucial for Kyiv.
Poroshenko signed the bill on the Supreme Anticorruption Court on June 11 at a meeting with students from the Ukrainian Leadership Academy in Kyiv.
Before signing it into law, he said it was meaningful that the ceremony was taking place "in the presence of Ukraine's future -- the future and current leaders of Ukraine. Congratulations."
On Facebook, Poroshenko called it a "key milestone in the creation of an independent anticorruption infrastructure in our country."
In addition to the IMF and other international institutions that provide Ukraine with financial support, the legislation has been demanded by protest groups who accuse Poroshenko's government of failing to tackle deep-rooted corruption.
But shortly after Ukraine's parliament passed the bill on June 7, the IMF said it still needed to review the final version, and separate legislation was needed to actually establish the court.
In March, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told Poroshenko that establishing an independent anticorruption court would "help the business environment and the investment climate.”
The IMF has called the establishment of an anticorruption court a "benchmark" of Ukraine's progress toward Western legal standards, and has said it would help ease the release of its loans in the future.
Corruption was among the problems that prompted Ukrainians to take to the streets and oust a Moscow-friendly government in 2014, but it remains a major hurdle to prosperity in the ex-Soviet republic.
Western officials say Ukraine will be far better equipped to resist interference from Russia -- which seized its Crimea region in 2014 and backs separatist militants who hold parts of two eastern provinces -- if it takes serious steps to combat graft.
On June 5, the U.S. State Department said "the establishment of a genuinely independent anticorruption court is the most important, immediate step the government can take to meet those demands and roll back corruption that continues to threaten Ukraine's national security, prosperity, and democratic development."