13:28 09.12.2016

Cabinet not supporting initiatives to relocate refugees in Ukraine by EU quotas

Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers does not support the initiative to relocate in Ukraine refugees according to quotas established by the European Union (EU) in exchange for Ukrainians receiving visa-free travel in EU countries, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has said.

"This is not the position of the Ukrainian government vis a vis refugees. Our position is very clear and understandable: We do not support such initiatives," Groysman said in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada on Friday, responding to a question of a parliament deputy about the sacking of Deputy Justice Minister Serhiy Petukhov, who allegedly supported such an initiative.

As earlier reported, at the end of 2016 Deputy Justice Minister dealing with questions of European Integration Petukhov proposed that Ukraine fulfill a quota of one of EU member states to relocate refugees in Ukraine in exchange for Ukrainians receiving visa-free status in EU member states.

"It is no secret that taking such a decision on Ukraine [extending visa-free status] was influenced in large measure by the flight of refugees from Syria. The influx of refugees caused a negative reaction of voters against refugees, and EU leaders hesitated to give Ukraine visa-free status. If this is our biggest problem, then, maybe, this can solve it! I would propose to the EU that Ukraine voluntarily satisfy a quota for taking in refugees [of a EU member state]. I think our country could take the quote of, let's say, the Netherlands [for resettling Syrian refugees]," Petukhov wrote on his Facebook page.

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