Tomorrow the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) will start a three-day visit to Ukraine, where they will meet with their colleagues from the Ukrainian Parliament, and with the Estonian people who are living and working in Ukraine.
Chairman of the Committee Toomas Vitsut said that one of the aims of the visit was to encourage Ukraine to continue with extensive reforms, first of all the judicial reform and measures to reduce corruption.
“Ukraine has expressed its wish to integrate with the European Union, and started with extensive political and economic reforms to achieve that,” Vitsut said. He pointed out as a successful example of reforms that Ukraine met the conditions for establishing visa-free travel regime. On 2 March 2017, EU ambassadors confirmed, on behalf of the Council, the agreement on visa liberalisation for Ukrainians. The agreement provides for visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens when travelling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. Now the regulation will be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading, and subsequently to the Council for adoption.
At the meetings with the Estonian entrepreneurs acting in Ukraine, the Committee wants to get information about the political-level support the entrepreneurs need for developing bilateral economic relations. Last year Ukraine ranked the fifth among Estonia’s target countries for investments.
Member of the European Union Affairs Committee Kalle Palling said that Ukraine had to purposefully continue with the reforms it had started. “In order to ensure keeping of the promises by the EU and its Member States without establishing additional conditions later, Ukraine and other partner countries have to meet their obligations and conduct the necessary reforms,” Palling said. “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.” He also recalled that in three years, almost 10,000 people, including 2000 civilians, had perished in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and nearly 23,400 had been injured.
Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Toomas Vitsut, Deputy Chairman of the Committee Jaak Madison and members of the Committee Monika Haukanõmm, Liisa Oviir, Kalle Palling and Tiit Terik participate in the visit to Ukraine.