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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Citizens of Ukraine increasingly difficult to enter Europe


The number of refusals to Ukrainian citizens in the issuance of Schengen visas for last year sharply increased. All this happens just months before Ukraine and all should get visa-free regime with the EU countries. Is cooler the EU belongs to the citizens of the country, which he so ardently seeks?

By the end of 2015 it turned out that the number of refusals to issue visas to Ukrainians has increased dramatically. This conclusion follows from published data on the eve of the European Commission on the work of the consulates of the Schengen States. The percentage of failures has doubled compared with 2013. Then failure got 1.7% of citizens of Ukraine. In 2014 this increased to 2.0%. Last year, the refusal received 3.4 percent of the applicants. The record was set by the Polish Consulate in Vinnytsia – up to 12% of applicants. Last year at this same Consulate was only 1.6% failure rate.

“There’s more risk of traffic of arms, drugs, other contraband, and smuggle illegal immigrants. It is on these risks and are forced to respond to Western embassies”

The second worst – at the Consulate of the Netherlands, where the refusals received by 7.2% of applicants (last year – 4.3%, which was considered a high rate). Recall that in the Netherlands two weeks from the scheduled referendum on the fate of the Association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, and the number of supporters and opponents of the agreement in the Kingdom of approximately equal. A resident of the Dutch Lelystad before said the newspaper VIEW that ordinary Ukrainians perceive the Dutch in the same row with “validating” the Romanians, Bulgarians and poles. “Although the Association does not lead automatically to the abolition of visas, but the people she associated this with the fact that the taxes that people pay, lost on the expanses of Ukraine”, – said a resident of the Netherlands.

Following after the Netherlands, also with extremely high rate, go the Embassy of Belgium (6.7 per cent), the Czech Consulate in Kiev (6,9%), Germany (6.0 percent). More than four – fold from 1.3% to 5.7% increased the bounce rate in the Greek Consulate in Kyiv, although this “tourist” Embassy previously used the fame liberal. For Greece, followed by Sweden (5.7 per cent). It is worth emphasizing – we are talking about failures in tourist visas, working visas to the statistics of EC are not covered.

In January the Kyiv printing may have noticed that Ukrainians have become more difficult to get a visa, some consulates now require more documents and reason for denial often becomes “unreasonable purpose of the trip”. According to intermediaries, even shopping at the Polish visa (it is issued to residents of the Western regions), for which previously only needed a passport, now need a large package of documents including Bank statement.

“The level of refusals to Ukrainians has doubled compared to “pre-war time”, and at some consulates statistics are simply appalling,” says on Thursday, “European true”. Moreover, the old arguments diplomats that the reason is “poverty”, doesn’t always work. “For example, in Russia, where the currency has depreciated sharply, there are no similar problems in the embassies. The level of refusals of Russians has risen slightly, although remained extremely low, and the percentage of multiple entry visas for Russian citizens is growing much more actively, than for residents of Ukraine,” says Kiev edition.

“While it is clear that the risk of migration also affects statistics, “purely Ukrainian” problem was not the war, and the increasing number of forged documents”, – writes the edition. Within the Consulate showed reporters a stack of statements from an alleged journalist colleagues, with certificates from the Union. The review indicated that the documents were forged – because it is easier to get a visa. Hungarian Consul Janos Kollar admitted that his staff daily face fake paper and has learned it is better to expose it. In particular, the consuls of Germany and other countries, if in doubt about the salary, now ask for help from the IRS or a statement from the credit card.

“They say it’s caused by a conflict with Russia”

It is noteworthy that the author of the publication “European truth” mentions in passing as an obvious fact that this year the Ukrainians will get visa-free regime, and the problem of mass failure will disappear by itself. The author only regrets that the abolition of visas will happen after the season “summer vacation”. Meanwhile, in early March, the European Commissioner for migration and citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos warned that Ukraine will need more time to complete the conditions for the abolition of visas.

Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Germany, member of the Board of German-Ukrainian forum, former Bundestag Deputy Jelena Hoffmann also acknowledged in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that the visa-free regime postponed. “They say it’s caused by a conflict with Russia, first you need to make peace with Moscow. But this is a rumor, and officially have no explanations. So for me it is not clear, – said the Consul. – Have talked to, seems to be promised in June – July. Sorry, found all the reasons now and again postpone”.

According to her, she already decades fighting for visa-free regime, but neither Germany nor the EU in General can’t overcome their “prejudices”. “Perhaps now the EU is busy with other problems, has focused on the flow of refugees from the Middle East, to deal with it. But, in my opinion, there are no reasons why not to introduce visa-free regime, – is perplexed Hoffman. – If the people of society want each other to come together, it is the first thing to do.”

Hoffman doesn’t think that the Germans are afraid of losing their jobs because of migrants. “Today we have relatively low unemployment, on the contrary, we think that the refugees now will help us as a workforce,” she explained. In addition, the Ukrainians with a normal visa to work officially in Germany will still not be able, recalls Hoffman. However, it is not excluded that someone will try to work in Germany illegally.

Recall, on the eve was published the visa restrictions Index, in which Ukraine was on the 58th place, side by side with Ecuador and Fiji, as her passport gives the right to visa-free entry to the territory of only 81 countries. Meanwhile, Russia is ahead of Ukraine in 10 steps, occupying 48th place in the rating with an index of 105.

The last flag of the Maidan

Director of the Kiev Institute of analysis and management policy Ruslan Bortnik recalled that Ukrainian government officials “I” promised a specific date for the introduction of a visa-free regime.

The President personally promised five times different dates. The fact that this is the last political flag that remained after the Maidan, it is a promise that still has some chance to perform – in contrast to the reform from the socio-economic development, “European wages”, European integration and everything else that is obviously impossible in the near future. This flag regularly lift, waving to the people followed him. On the promise of visa-free regime built a huge media campaign. In the end, according to the polls 50-60% of Ukrainians believe that it is really very important,” – said the expert.

Bortnik agree that one of the causes of mass visa denials is falsification of documents about salary.

“One of the factors is poverty. The average salary now is $ 150, half of the labor market is in shadow. Because of this, the Ukrainians don’t fit the criteria of the visa Schengen countries”, – said political scientist newspaper VIEW. “Is actually published and the number of failures is significantly understated. The fact that some Ukrainians even after getting visa, can not get into Schengen. Deploy them on the border. From time to time there are scandals about it. The latest scandal involving a group of dozens of people was not allowed in the US, though they had no visas”.

But the main reason, according to Bortnik, is the war in Donbas and the absence of any functioning legal system. “As a result there’s more risk of traffic of arms, drugs, other contraband, and smuggle illegal immigrants. It is on these risks and are forced to respond to Western embassies”, – concluded the analyst.

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