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Ukraine continues to fulfill the visa liberalization benchmarks despite Russian military aggression, European Commission report says

The European Council illuminated with the Ukrainian flag on Europe Day in Brussels in 2022. Source: The European Union.
Ukraine continues to fulfill the visa liberalization benchmarks despite Russian military aggression, European Commission report says

Ukraine continues to fulfill the visa liberalization benchmarks in general. However, further efforts are needed, where possible, according to the sixth report of the European Commission within the framework of the visa-free regime suspension mechanism.

The country needs to align its visa policy with the EU’s list of visa-required third countries, “in particular with regard to countries presenting irregular migration or security risks to the EU.”

Ukraine also needs to continue ongoing efforts in the fight against organized crime, with a special focus on countering the smuggling of firearms and drugs, despite the war-related challenges.

In addition, Ukraine needs to continue fighting corruption, including by adopting an action plan for the implementation of the 2023-2025 asset recovery strategy and by amending ARMA legislation on managing seized assets, said the European Commission.

The report also highlighted progress in reforming the Ukrainian law enforcement sector. 

“Although the wartime conditions complicated the task of law enforcement, efforts continued in the fight against drug trafficking. A new State Policy Drug Strategy for 2023-2030 was drafted. To prevent diversion/non-medical use of medicines containing narcotic or psychotropic substances, on 1 November 2022 an obligation to deliver these products only upon prescription was introduced,” it said. 

The report also says that Ukraine adheres to international human rights documents and standards, while Ukrainian citizens have been seriously affected by Russia’s widespread violations of fundamental rights.

“Martial law was introduced at the start of the Russian full-scale invasion restricting rights and freedoms, though it has remained largely proportional to actual needs and has been applied with caution, maintaining a good level of freedom of expression despite restrictions to the media landscape,” the report reads.

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