Photo from UNIAN

First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova has said Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) does not see any grounds for the European Union's revising visa-free travel with Ukraine and has not received official information from EU representatives.

"Certain statements that may appear remain statements by political figures," she told the Voice of America's Ukrainian service in an interview.

Read alsoPM Shmyhal: No threat of Ukraine being stripped of visa-free travel rights in EUOver the past six years, the EU has invested a lot both in the economy and the rule of law in Ukraine, while official Kyiv, in turn, always listens to international partners' opinion, the official said.

"Now there is a clear understanding and homework for Ukraine on a large-scale European integration track. This is a package of reforms we routinely work on, this includes the fight against corruption and independent anti-graft agencies' activity. Almost all state departments are involved in [the work on] this track," she said.

"There is a clear understanding of how to move, as well as what is important and needs to be done. And all these actions are coordinated at the highest level," Dzhaparova added.

Replacing top anti-corruption prosecutor: Recent developments

  • On August 21, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova signed an order to dismiss Deputy Prosecutor General and SAPO chief Nazar Kholodnytsky, approving his resignation.
  • On September 17, the Verkhovna Rada appointed parliamentary members to the commission to select the new SAPO chief: Olena Busol, Andriy Hudzhal, Oleksiy Drozd, Kateryna Koval, Bohdan Romaniuk, Viacheslav Navrotsky, and Yevhen Sobol.
  • The European Parliament's Rapporteur for Ukraine, Michael Gahler, and Vice-Chair of Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee Viola von Cramon expressed concern over the Verkhovna Rada's move.
  • "While international community is occupied with Belarus, Ukraine's government is hastily pushing candidates lacking experience and integrity to select SAPO head. This will not fly. Ukraine's government is jeopardizing visa-free with the EU and further trance of EUR1.5 billion assistance," Viola von Cramon-Taubadel wrote on Twitter on September 17, 2020.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv also commented on the developments. "The U.S. and the EU take note of the Rada decision to appoint members to the commission to choose the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor. The commission needs to embark on a transparent process with candidates' integrity and merits at its core. Our further support will depend upon it," the Embassy wrote on Facebook on September 17.