Ukraine, Britain discuss visa facilitation for Ukrainians

Ukraine, Britain discuss visa facilitation for Ukrainians

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Ukrinform
First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko and British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan have discussed the security situation in Donbas, the violation of human rights in the occupied Crimea and the facilitation of the visa regime for Ukrainians.

Gerashchenko, who is on a visit to Britain, reported this on her Facebook page on Monday, October 30.

"I have a busy visit to the UK. Today [on October 30], at the Foreign Office, I met with British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan. We discussed the security situation in Donbas and the violation of human rights in the occupied Crimea," she wrote.

According to Gerashchenko, she urged the United Kingdom to help release hostages, involve and launch all possible mechanisms and mediation efforts.

She also noted during the meeting, the sides discussed a peacekeeping mission in Donbas, the unacceptability of the hybrid Russian offer of "peacekeepers," which simply replaces the very idea of a peacekeeping mission. 

"It's good that the British government is well aware of the nuances and differences between the mandate of a true peacekeeping mission and the hybrid offer of Moscow aimed at freezing the conflict," Gerashchenko added.

In addition, she said, Britain is actively supporting humanitarian demining projects in Donbas. The Verkhovna Rada, in turn, should adopt a new law on humanitarian demining as soon as possible, Gerashchenko said.

She also noted that she had also discussed reform in Ukraine with the British minister. At the same time, according to Gerashchenko, she asked the minister to pay attention to complaints of Ukrainians about unjustified refusals to obtain British visas. At the same time, Gerashchenko stressed the need to hold negotiations with Britain on easing the visa regime for Ukrainians.

"We have a positive experience of visa-free travel with the EU and a minimum of violations of visa rules by Ukrainians in the Schengen zone, so I think we should talk about facilitating the visa regime with Britain. Obviously, this will be a difficult and slow dialogue, but it's worth starting it," she said.

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