The Government of Ukraine on Wednesday promised the Spanish Presidency of the European Union to extend the battle against corruption, human and drug trafficking and to improve border control, steps that will help lead to the lifting of visa requirements for Ukrainians. Spain's Secretaries of State for Security, Antonio Camacho, and Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, took part in the Political Dialogue with Ukraine on behalf of the EU, along with the European Commission's Director General for Justice, Freedom and Security, Jonathan Faull, while Ukraine was represented by its Minister of Justice, Olexander Lavrynovych.
Antonio Camacho stressed that good border management, to prevent illegal immigration, was one of the "major shared challenges", and gave a positive appraisal of Ukraine's progress on issues such as the standardisation of documentation and biometric passports with the EU.
The battle against corruption is another of the conditions required to achieve greater convergence on social, political and economic issues, said Camacho, who also congratulated Ukraine for the new initiatives it has introduced in the fight against organised crime.
Spain's Secretary of State for Justice, meanwhile, underscored the need for Ukraine to become “a state where rule of law is consolidated” with an “independent” judiciary.“A strong public prosecutor's office is key to eradicating crime”, said Campo. He therefore reminded the government in Kiev that “investing in modernising justice is investing in something of superlative value”, and will be essential for overcoming the economic crisis.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian minister stated that his government has shown that the plans implemented upon the recommendation of the European Commission to overhaul the judicial system “are moving in the right direction”, and as a result he is confident that the lifting of the visa requirement may become a reality before the end of the year.
Jonathan Faull, of the European Commission, stressed that the EU side wished to offer its congratulations on the freedom of movement, but as long as proper border management would be guaranteed by both sides.
Since 2008, Ukrainian citizens have been covered by a visa agreement to enter the EU, but Kiev is aiming for these documents to be totally removed. Ukraine has already waived the requirement for citizens of the Union to present a visa when they travel to the country.