The European Union is concerned about the events around Ukrainian anti-corruption authorities, so it will closely monitor these processes and take them into account when considering the issue of maintaining a visa-free regime with Ukraine. EU Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas stated this in his interview for RBC-Ukraine.
According to him, the conditions for visa-free travelling, in particular, include institutional issues.
“We are concerned about some developments around the anti-corruption architecture … We, of course, do not comment in any way on the decision of the Constitutional Court (on the unconstitutionality of the NABU director appointment – ed.). But we want to emphasise the legal, constitutional clarity around the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, which must be restored very soon,” the ambassador said.
He stressed that the EU evaluates annually the feasibility of visa liberalisation continuation and noted that the Ukrainian side has not done anything irreversible so far. In addition, the diplomat remarked that the anti-corruption institutions’ development takes years.
So, one cannot demand results from them in a matter of days.
“You have to be patient and believe in these institutions again… There is a human desire to see a lot of corrupt people in prisons. I understand that. But you can’t set indicators for these institutions to have so many criminal cases, so many convicts, and so on in a year. We see that generally, these institutions work. We have already seen the first verdicts from the anti-corruption court. And it is extremely important to see the support of these institutions by the authorities,” said the EU Ambassador.
He also clarified that the statement of MEP Viola von Cramon that the direct threat to the visa-free regime with Ukraine is important, but the final decision will be made by the European Commission.
To recap, the applications for a possible revision of the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the European Union appeared after the Verkhovna Rada approved the tender commission composition for the election of the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office new head despite EU recommendations. Later, Viola von Cramon, a European Parliament member from Germany, said that the visa-free regime with the EU was under threat.
At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine replied that Kyiv had not received official signals from the European Union representatives about the visa-free regime revision.