The Riigikogu’s European Union Affairs Committee is starting a three-day visit to Ukraine on Monday. The MPs will meet with their colleagues from the Ukrainian parliament, and with Estonians living and working in Ukraine.
Chairman of the committee Toomas Vitsut (Center) said that one of the aims of the visit was to encourage Ukraine to continue with its extensive reforms, first of all the judicial reform, and other measures to reduce corruption.
“Ukraine has expressed its wish to integrate with the European Union, and started extensive political and economic reforms to achieve that,” Vitsut said, also pointing out that Ukraine had met the conditions for establishing visa-free travel regime, and that this was a good example of successful reform.
The delegation will meet with Estonian entrepreneurs active in Ukraine to get information about the political support the entrepreneurs need to developing bilateral economic relations. Last year Ukraine ranked fifth among Estonia’s target countries for investments.
Member of the committee Kalle Palling (Reform) said that Ukraine needed to continue with the reforms it started. To make sure that the EU and its members would keep their promises to the country without new conditions added later on, Ukraine and other partner countries needed to meet their obligations and conduct the necessary reforms. “Estonia is ready to help in every way. We also expect the EU to create additional possibilities for that, and hope that the free trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine will be implemented as soon as possible. Naturally these reforms are a challenge that requires great efforts, but there is no better solution.”
Palling also pointed to the fact that in three years almost 10,000 people, including 2,000 civilians, had perished in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and nearly 23,400 had been injured.
The delegation includes members of the Riigikogu Toomas Vitsut (Center), Jaak Madison (EKRE), Monika Haukanõmm (Free Party), Liisa Oviir (SDE), Kalle Palling (Reform) and Tiit Terik (Center).
Visa liberalization for citizens of Ukraine was confirmed on behalf of the EU on Mar. 2 this year. The agreement provides for visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens when travelling to the EU for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. The regulation has been submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading, and will subsequently be passed on to the Council for adoption.
Editor: Dario Cavegn