The International Monetary Fund has warned Ukraine’s leadership that the government’s plans for a new anti-corruption court are “not consistent” with commitments made as part of its IMF bailout agreement.

The development further dashes hopes that the country would be able to swfitly reengage with the IMF after it froze funding from the $17.5bn assistance package last year.

In a letter to president Petro Poroshenko’s government, the IMF raised concerns about key provisions in draft legislation on the formation of a new anti-corruption court which was submitted to parliament late last year.

The fresh warning adds to outstanding concerns about issues including Kiev’s refusal to hike natural gas tariffs. Domestic media published the letter, which is dated January 11, on Monday, and one of Ukraine’s ministries confirmed its authenticity to the Financial Times.

Ron van Rooden, the IMF’s Ukraine mission chief, wrote in the letter:

The submission by the President of the draft law on the High Anti-Corruption Court was expected to be a positive step … However, we have serious concerns.

The letter points to “several provisions” that are “not consistent with the authorities’ commitments under Ukraine’s IMF-supported programme and the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.”

Those pertaining to the selection process are “not conducive” to formation of an independent anti-corruption court, and “transparent appointment of competent and trustworthy” judges, the Fund warned.

The draft law “opens opportunities for additional delays in establishing” the anti-corruption court, the IMF said, adding: “The jurisdiction of the court envisaged by the draft law is inadequate and includes undue derogations for certain senior officials.”

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