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U.S. Urges Ukraine To Repeal Law Placing Undue 'Burdens' On Civil Society Groups

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert (file photo)

The U.S. State Department is calling on Ukraine to repeal a law that it says has put undue burdens on civil society organizations and is for that reason discouraging their work.

The law requires civil-society groups and international members of the supervisory boards of state-owned enterprises to declare their assets -- a requirement that the department said was excessive.

"Ukraine's asset-declaration system should hold public officials accountable, and not place unnecessary burdens or pressure on civil society," department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on March 30.

"This punitive law targets those very individuals who seek to increase transparency and accountability in Ukraine, fulfilling the promises of the Euromaidan and the Ukrainian people's aspirations for a democratic country governed by the rule of law," she said.

"We urge the Ukrainian government to expeditiously cancel the asset declaration requirements, in line with recommendations by the Venice Commission, and, in the interim, provide a temporary amnesty for those individuals who do not file declarations by the upcoming deadline."

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