The Ukrainian Parliament will decide whether to recommend the government to introduce visas with Russia

KIEV, October 6 RIA Novosti. The Ukrainian Parliament on Thursday might trigger the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. Deputies intend to recommend to the government to immediately take measures for termination of the agreement on visa-free travel, the final decision will be taken by the Cabinet.

Among the members of the coalition while there is no consensus about the necessity of introduction of a visa regime with Russia. In particular, members of the Pro-presidential Bloc Petro Poroshenko believes that the final decision on this issue should be balanced and requires additional consultations at foreign Ministry level. The President’s colleagues do not exclude that such a step may cause the aggravation on the frontline in the Donbass. Opposition bloc have already said they would not support the introduction of visas with Russia, believing that this will primarily affect Ukrainian citizens who work in Russia.

Happy again threatening to introduce visas

Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andrei Parubiy at the meeting of the conciliatory Council of leaders of parliamentary factions on Monday ordered the deputies to return to consideration of issue on introduction of a visa regime with Russia. A proposal was made on the background of the detention in Russia of Ukrainian Roman Sushchenko, which, according to Russian intelligence services, collecting sensitive information about the activities of the Russian armed forces and the national guard.

Paruby at the beginning of the year has already come up with the relevant initiative, but the document was not considered in the Parliament hall. The speaker believes that in conditions of “military aggression and occupation of part of Ukraine’s territories” the introduction of visa regime an important step from the point of view of national security of the country. Despite the loud statements, the Ukrainian authorities still hesitated to introduce visas for Russians. In March 2015 Kiev has banned the entry of Russians in the Russian domestic passports and birth certificates (for children up to 14 years), and in October 2015, has stopped direct flights with Moscow.

The draft resolution of the Verkhovna Rada proposed to the Cabinet of Ministers to take immediate steps to terminate the intergovernmental agreement on visa-free trips of citizens of Ukraine and Russia, signed on 16 January 1997 in Mokwa. At the time of implementing the necessary procedures to suspend the provisions of articles 1 and 2 of the agreement, which States that citizens of the two countries can visit the country without visas.

Deputy faction coalition “people’s front” Victoria syumar stated that the Council may consider the introduction of a visa regime on Thursday, as the relevant Committee supported the adoption of the document. She added that the introduction of visas may take from three months to six months from the date of the adoption by Parliament of the relevant resolution.

“It (the introduction of a visa regime) the political will of the Ukrainian Parliament, and all the details in the negotiation process should clarify the foreign Ministry. The corresponding step of the Parliament will signal the beginning of the process, which lasts for one month, as required appropriate training. When we discussed this issue in 2014, it was about three to six months (transition period) after the decision,” said syumar.

The introduction of visas with Russia was also supported by two of the opposition faction “Batkivshchyna” (Fatherland) and the Radical party of Oleh Liashko. The deputies believe that the decision had to be taken two years ago. In addition, the opposition insist on severance of diplomatic relations with Russia.

“This is nonsense, when we have occupied part of our territory, and we continue to support with Russia diplomatic relations, citing the fact that, well, there’s our workers, and the severance of diplomatic relations will harm their interests. Today, when Ukrainian citizens have been arrested, diplomatic relations do not help. Cases are known when broke because of minor issues,” said the leader of the radical Lyashko.

“Diplomatic steps (introduction of visas), which clearly say that this war, which clearly say that with the occupier need to fight, not to surrender all of these steps, we will support”, said the head of “Batkivshchyna” Yulia Tymoshenko.

Meanwhile, the President’s representative in Parliament Artur Gerasimov recalled that the introduction of a visa regime with Russia is in the competence of the government and Parliament of Ukraine can only recommend to make that decision.

“With regard to the introduction of a visa regime with Russia is not the prerogative of the Parliament and Cabinet who enters or does not enter such things. We, as Parliament, can recommend or not recommend. Given the events that occurred last week, given the fact that a truce (in the Donbass) is not really supported, and again we see attacks by militants, this matter may be considered in the Verkhovna Rada”, said Gerasimov.

Kiev, US and EU have repeatedly accused Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s Affairs. Russia denies it and calls such accusations unacceptable. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to domestic conflict, uninvolved in the events in the East of the country and is interested in Ukraine overcame political and economic crisis.

Poroshenko noted the risks of introducing visas

The deputies of the largest in the Ukrainian Parliament faction Block Petro Poroshenko believes that it is not necessary to hurry with the abolition of the visa-free regime with Russia, this decision should be very thought out.

“We have to hold consultations, in particular with Mr (foreign Minister Pavlo) Klimkin, the Ministry of foreign Affairs, because all our efforts for the preservation of peace may be thwarted by some do not end up thoughtful actions”, said the Deputy Chairman of the Pro-presidential faction Serhiy Berezenko. In his opinion, such a decision may cause the aggravation of the situation on the contact line in the conflict zone in the Donbass.

A similar view was expressed by another Deputy head of the faction Alexei Goncharenko.

“There must not operate the principle “to spite the conductor will walk”. Is to calculate everything before you make such decisions. We have so historically, many families have in this country, relatives, many people work, and the like. We cannot ignore these facts. Of course, we have security issues through the open border with Russia, but will promote the introduction of visas, the solution to this problem it should be thoroughly calculated,” said the Deputy.

Very Klimkin stated that the introduction of a visa regime with Russia should be preceded by “serious discussion”.

“We need a very serious political and professional debate on this issue, because, of course, we need increased security at our borders,” said the Ukrainian foreign Minister to journalists on Wednesday. According to him, the introduction of a visa regime a question not the near future. “Must say clearly that it is not a question of weeks, this issue requires serious political consideration and the necessary logistics,” he said.

Rada is unlikely to support the abolition of visas

In “the Oppositional block” initiative on the introduction of visas with Russia called another manifestation of populism on the part of the deputies of the parliamentary coalition. According to the Deputy of the party Natalia Korolevskaya, similar initiatives were designed to divert attention from the disappointing state of Affairs in the country and the budget process.

She added that the current level of labor migration from Ukraine is growing and the majority of Ukrainians, “in order to survive, is going to Russia, largely because of the lack of the need to obtain a visa to enter the country.”

“Instead of such populist steps need to unite all efforts and to restore order in the social sphere, to adopt an adequate budget for 2017, to index social standards and to start the economy, create jobs and increase the real incomes of people in search of a better life people were not forced to leave his native country”, said the Deputy.

Co-Chairman of the faction Yuriy Boyko has said that “the Opposition bloc” will vote against the introduction of visas

According to Vice-speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Oksana Syroid despite the loud statements, this initiative is unlikely to find support in Parliament, since the abolition of the visa regime with Russia in the first place not interested the head of state, and, accordingly, the largest Pro-presidential faction.

“You see how many in the Ukrainian Parliament, Pro-Russian forces. If the President has business in Russia, if he’s paying taxes, is he interested in the fact that his faction voted for this decision? I doubt it,” said Syroid.

Moscow’s response

Who held until recently a post of the head of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky (LDPR), commenting on the proposal to consider the introduction of visas with Russia, said RIA Novosti that Kiev once again tries to raise the degree of tension in relations with Moscow.

“There is nothing new. Kyiv tries again to raise the degree of tension… But we can’t in favor of the West and Kiev is similar to the “politicians” to dissolve two historically close Nations,” he added.

Deputy Secretary of General Council of party “United Russia”, Deputy of the state Duma Sergei Zheleznyak said that Russia in case of introduction of Ukraine’s visa regime will be forced to retaliate, their consequences will be for Kiev “catastrophic.” In his opinion, the introduction of a visa regime with Russia “will completely destroy for many ordinary Ukrainians the last source of existence, creating a huge obstacle for earnings and dooming the population of Ukraine on poverty”.

“Such irresponsibility of its own people, political short-sightedness, unfortunately, was for the Ukrainian political establishment calling card. It is hoped that the sense of self-preservation the Ukrainian politicians will deter them from making suicidal decisions,” said the Russian parliamentarian.

The Federation Council has opposed the introduction of a visa regime with Ukraine. According to the Senator from Crimea, member of the international Committee of the Federation Council Sergei Tsekov, the ability of Ukrainians to freely travel to Russia gives them the opportunity to see how the standard of living in the two countries are different, and to understand what is really going on in Russia.