The European Parliament is set to ratify the further simplification of the visa regime with Ukraine. This is evidenced by speeches of MEPs during the discussion of this issue later in the evening on April 16.

Representative of the people's parties group, Vice President of the European Parliament Jacek Protasiewicz noted that Ukraine is a very important partner in the Eastern Partnership program, as well as one of the most important EU neighbors in the East. He stressed that Ukraine needs changes in method of functioning of the judicial system. However, Protashevich stood for the need to ratify the agreement on further simplification of the visa regime, noting importance of this step not for authorities, but for people.

Representative of the socialist group Kinga Göncz (Hungary) said that the group plans to support the agreement on further simplification of the visa regime between Ukraine and the EU, although it drew attention to the fact that the human dignity and human rights, including the rights of sexual minorities, must be protected in Ukraine.

MEP from Latvia Tatjana Ždanoka expressed support for the agreement on behalf of the greens group.

"The current agreement on simplification of visa regime with Ukraine is very successful. Our group shares the position of the speaker, it may contribute to the development of the rule of law and democracy," she said.

However, the MP noted that focus of the debates on the state of the rights of sexual minorities in Ukraine testifies to the fact that the European Parliament "does not turn a blind eye" on what is happening in the Ukrainian legislation.

On behalf of the European conservatives and reformists group, the agreement was supported by MEP Valdemar Tomaševski (Lithuania).

"This agreement will contribute positively to the promotion of democracy and human rights. It will be a clear signal to the Ukrainians that the EU is committed to strengthening relations with Ukraine," he noted.

The only group of the European Parliament, which offered to postpone the vote, was the group of the alliance of liberals. Its representative Sophia in't Veld said that thea group of liberals supports Ukraine's accession to the EU, but wants it to happen on the basis of common values.

"That is why we encourage colleagues to return the report to the Committee," the MEP stressed.


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