13:41 23.07.2015

Mukacheve events affect Ukraine's image – EP vice president

3 min read
Mukacheve events affect Ukraine's image – EP vice president

Vice President of the European Parliament (EP) Ryszard Czarnecki said during a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv that the events in Mukacheve are harming Ukraine's image and also noted the increased activity of the pro-Russian lobby in the European Union.

"The vice president of the European Parliament has said that the recent situation in Mukacheve is seriously harming the image of Ukraine as the Russian propaganda is using it against Ukraine. He [also] noted that the pro-Russian lobby in the European Union is becoming more active," the Ukrainian president's press service reported.

Poroshenko, for his part, thanked Czarnecki for his personal support of Ukraine in its reforms and the fight against the Russian aggression.

"The opening of the first ever European Parliament office in Kyiv is evidence of your sincere support of Ukraine and mutual respect," the Ukrainian president said.

The president also expressed his hope that after the presidential elections in Poland, Ryszard Czarnecki's experience would help to improve relations between the two countries, strengthen the position of Poland as an advocate for Ukraine's European integration, and introduce the visa-free regime for Ukraine.

Czarnecki confirmed that the European Parliament is ready to support Ukraine in the introduction of the visa-free regime with the EU in 2016, which will be a strong driving force for the country's development and reformation.

Both leaders also discussed the situation in Donbas and the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Czarnecki praised Ukraine's efforts in promoting the implementation of the peace plan, including constitutional reform.

The European Parliament vice president said that Western countries have confidence in Poroshenko.

As reported, a shootout involving people close to Deputy Mykhailo Lanio, local police and members of Right Sector occurred in Mukacheve on July 11. According to various reports, up to five people died and up to 14 were injured as a result of the shootout.

According to Right Sector, the incident was provoked by criminal elements headed by Lanio who had had their smuggling activities curtailed.

At the same time, some mass media outlets reported that the reason behind the conflict was the division of spheres of influence in the protection of contraband flows to the region, in particular cigarettes.

According to Zakarpattia regional head Hennadiy Moskal, the actions of members of Right Sector in Zakarpattia are qualified as banditry and 13 people aged between 18 and 39 are suspected of committing a criminal offence. He went on to say that most of them continue to hide in forests in Zakarpattia region.