The Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Valeriy Chalyy, met with the British Ambassador to Ukraine Simon Smith on Monday, July 7, reports European Pravda (Eupravda, part of Ukrainska Pravda), July 8. Chalyy confirmed that information in a telephone conversation with Eupravda, adding that one of the topics discussed was the publication’s reporting on the high-profile denials of visas to Ukrainian citizens.
“I told the ambassador of our concern regarding the instances of visa refusals, which are being widely reported and which must be corrected. I must note that the UK is doing a lot for Ukraine (in the political sphere). However, it must also correct (errors) in the visa area and must restore trust,” Chalyy said.
Earlier, Eupravda published an article on the frequent failure of the British Embassy to issue visas to citizens of Ukraine. In one of the cases examined, a group of internationally renowned scientists were refused visas.
Later is became known that the UK has also introduced the practice of rejecting citizens on the sole basis that they live in the zone of ATO (antiterrorist operation). Officially this restriction is not reported on the embassy website.
Eupravda cited the example of Professor Volodymyr Hlushchenko, chair of the Donbas Pedagogical University, who was denied a visa even though his trip had already been paid for last year and he already had several Schengen visas in his passport. As grounds for refusal, the British office cited the tense situation in the Donbas and the fact that a number of institutions in the area were temporarily closed.
Valeriy Chalyy said that Simon Smith expressed his understanding of the reaction by Ukrainian media to these reports. “The Ambassador said that he does not absolve himself of the responsibility and recognizes the importance of this aspect and said that Britain will try to rectify the situation,” Chalyy said.
As reported earlier, the UK refused to issue a visa to Ukrainian Professor Nataliya Gubergrits, author of more than 1000 scientific papers, 46 inventions, and 17 monographs, stating they were “not convinced” of her intention to engage in scientific medical activities in Britain.
Translation: Anna Mostovych