: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Rada leadership accuses EU of ”shameless” delay of visa liberalization

First Vice Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko has said that the European Union was ”shamelessly” delaying the process of granting Ukraine a visa-free regime and full ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

”Three years ago, the European Union, being aware of the risks of Ukraine`s complete withdrawal under the Russian protectorate, persuaded Yanukovych to sign the Agreement. Despite the lockdown of political prisoners, despite the complete lack of reforms and the Brezhnev-like stagnation, despite mega-corruption, despite complete suppression of the media and the opposition… They were ready to sign the agreement in Vilnius and danced around the traitor and bastard. The EU was afraid of one thing at that time: expansion of Russian presence in the post-Soviet space, the loss of Ukraine,” she wrote on Facebook.

Today, according to Gerashchenko, following ”thousands of victims, when Ukraine remains the last outpost of the expansion of the Russian totalitarian regime, when Ukrainians demonstrate daily dedication to European principles and are the most eager Europeans on the continent, the EU shamelessly delays visa liberalization and full ratification of the [Association] Agreement.”

”What happened to the European Union itself? Are Brussels, Paris, Berlin and other capitals aware of all the risks of Ukraine`s loss of confidence in the EU? I never get tired of repeating these questions to all my European counterparts. They don`t like these issues… Just like the Germans and French do not like to be reminded of their positions in 2008, when the signing of the Ukraine-NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) was blocked. Later, there was war: Georgia, Ukraine became victims of Russian aggression,” Gerashchenko said.

She noted that ”it was a historic mistake, which turned into thousands of victims, as the MAP blocking untied the hands of the Russian Federation, since this ”confirmed” that the post-Soviet countries were a zone of Russian influence.”

”We do not want to be a zone of influence. We have the right to determine our foreign policy,” Gerashchenko said.

The MP expressed the opinion that ”not only a visa-free regime, but also the Ukrainians` trust in the EU, depends on France and Germany, on their positions.”

”And I`m sure that the major European countries are not entitled to a historical mistake,” she added.

The EU ”shamelessly” delays granting Ukraine a visa-free regime and full ratification of the Association Agreement,” Gerashchenko added.


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