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Vaccination Passports: Exclusive Interview of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal with Promote Ukraine

Recently, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine will introduce a vaccination passport. In meantime, the EU has already prepared the legal basis and even showed their citizens what the “passport” – the Digital Green Certificate – will look like.

In the past weeks, Marta Barandiy, the founder of Promote Ukraine, had an opportunity to ask the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, questions about the vaccination passport in the exclusive interview which will be published in the 6th edition of the journal Brussels Ukraїna Review.

Marta: A month ago, Ukraine announced that it would support the initiative for introduction of vaccine passports if the EU countries or the EU itself introduces such passports. Then Mr. Liashko [Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine] said that Ukraine would not introduce vaccine passports but it would issue certificates, international certificates of vaccination that already existed before. We see that the WHO’s position and the position of the EU are diverging.  European Commission’s initiative regarding vaccine passports is under approval now. But what is your position on this issue? And if Ukraine still introduces such passports at the request of the EU, won’t this step contradict the visa-free travel regime terms? If the EU introduces vaccine passports, how is the visa-free regime ensured for Ukrainians who will not be vaccinated?

Prime Minister: I do not see any threats to the visa-free travel regime. The regime is in effect, and we also touched on this topic during our visit to Brussels. Ukraine is ready to introduce vaccine passports in any form. If it is an electronic form, we have a state register of vaccinated people. Based on this register, it will now be possible to obtain an international certificate of vaccination very quickly. That is why we will now follow closely and listen to the consolidated position of Europe and the world. We are ready for any scenario, because we understand that the coronavirus is a difficult challenge, and we need to look for new approaches.

Marta: Will Ukraine require citizens of other countries to show such passports or certificates?

I will answer the same way: we will focus on the experience of European countries, as well as consider the recommendations of international institutions. The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole world, so we must all work together to find best practices on how to overcome it and return to normal life.

Read the exclusive interview of Promote Ukraine with the Prime Minister of Ukraine on the relations with Ukrainians, living abroad, on the promotion of Ukraine abroad, and progress in fighting corruption in the next, 6th edition of Brussels Ukraїna Review 

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