Ukraine-EU Visa-Free Regime in Danger, According to Ukrainian President

The Ukrainian-EU visa deal, which would allow for visa free travel between Ukraine and EU countries, might be at severe risk, warns Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelensky has said that if the Ukrainian Parliament does not restore their anti-corruption reforms, the visa-free regime deal with the EU could be in peril.

The President has also warned that a $5 billion deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could also be in danger if the country is found to be corrupt in using these funds for their own personal gains. If both their visa-free regime and the IMF loan are denied, Zelensky has said that it would throw Ukraine into “bloody chaos.”

Zelensky put a motion forward in the Ukrainian Parliament to restore anti-corruption legislation as well as dissolve the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

The President also eluded to dissolving the Parliament if they do not vote to get rid of the Constitutional Court.

“I want this parliament to work for the state. Whether the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] will continue to work will depend on the conclusions made by our deputies,” Zelensky tweeted.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has responded, however, to the President, saying that they will not tolerate external pressure on constitutional rulings.

“We officially declare that contrary to the attempts of some high-ranking officials and politicians to destabilise the work of the body of constitutional jurisdiction, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine will be guided in its work by the Constitution, the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine’ and will act exclusively in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” reads a statement released by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky ran for office on an anti-corruption platform and gained the presidency in 2019.

Since his initiation into office, he has publicly fought corruption in the Ukrainian government and formed stronger ties with the EU.

These notions, however, have not been met without backlash from some fellow Ukrainian statesmen, with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko saying that Zelensky’s legislation is a “coup d’etat” designed to concentrate more power in his hands.

It is unclear at this point how these events will actually affect the visa-free regime in the future.

Related information

Visa Free Scheme for Ukrainians

As of November 2016, it was announced that Ukrainian citizens are now able to travel to the majority of countries within Europe without the need for a visa.