Brussels-based RFE/RL journalist Rikard Jozwiak says the suspension of the visa-free regime with the European Union for Ukrainian citizens over the ruling by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) that affects the country's anti-corruption reform is premature speculation.
"Premature speculation that Ukraine might lose visa liberalization with the EU over the e-declaration debacle yesterday. This is the 'nuclear option' and the EU rarely triggers that first. Delayed payout of macro-financial assistance is more likely," he wrote on Twitter on October 29.
Earlier, Ukrainian media reported that the European Union might launch a mechanism to suspend the visa-free regime with Ukraine over the latest ruling by the Constitutional Court rolling back the anti-corruption reform. Representative of Ukraine to the European Union, Mykola Tochytskyi, wrote a letter to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna, voicing the relevant concerns in this regard.
At the same time, Tochytskyi's press service refused to provide a copy of the letter to UNIAN. "Sorry, but we do not comment on internal government correspondence," it said.
Constitutional Court vs anti-corruption reform
On September 16, the Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional certain provisions of the law on the National Anti-corruption Bureau.
Read alsoZelensky convenes NSDC meeting over Constitutional Court's notorious rulingThese included the norms on empowering a President to establish NABU, appoint and dismiss its director, appoint three members to the competition commission selecting the Bureau chief, appoint one member of the external control commission to conduct an independent audit of NABU performance, its operational and institutional independence, and approve the regulation on the Civil Control Council and the procedure for its formation.
Also, on July 28, the CSU declared unconstitutional the Presidential Decree of April 16, 2015, on the appointment of Artem Sytnyk as NABU Director. The relevant motion filed to the CCU by 51 lawmakers claimed the then head of state Petro Poroshenko went beyond his constitutional powers and violated the ban on usurpation of state power. Also, the deputies argued, the decree contradicts Constitutional provisions on the exhaustive list of presidential powers.
On October 27, the Constitutional Court ruled on the case on the motion submitted by 47 legislators to repeal Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provides for liability for inaccurate asset declaration by government officials.
On October 28, pursuant to the CCU ruling, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention shut down public access to the Unified State Register of Asset Declarations.