British delegation to visit Ukraine to familiarize with border procedures, procedure for issuing documents – ambassador
A delegation from the UK will visit Ukraine to get acquainted with the procedures at the border and the procedure for issuing documents, Ambassador of the United Kindgom to Ukraine Melinda Simmons has said.
Simmons said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine that in her opinion, the most positive thing about the visit of the Ukrainian delegation to London was that the Minister of the Interior of Ukraine had met for the first time with the Minister of the Interior of Britain. She said this was really very good and was a big step forward. She added that they had talked about border security and the issue of passports, and agreed that the United Kingdom would send officials to Ukraine to familiarize with border procedures and the procedure for issuing documents. She expects that this conversation will continue for some time.
At the same time, she noted that she does not consider it likely to change the UK visa regime with Ukraine in the near future. She doesn't think that a change in the visa regime is likely in the near future, since this is not a political issue, but the issue of border security. The diplomat emphasized that she is very glad that this dialogue is taking place.
She also pointed out the need to ensure the professional and prompt issuance of British visas to Ukrainians.
Simmons added that the first thing that worries Ukrainians about the issuance of British visas is the possibility of getting a visa on time. She said that this is a very fair question, and Britain has a visa issuance service, and if a visa is not issued on time, when all documents are in order, then the embassy really wants to know about such cases because then they have the opportunity to talk to the visa service here and then in the UK to make sure that the visa service is available within the specified time frame. They are very open to this feedback. It is necessary to ensure that the visa issuance is as professional as possible, Simmons added.
It is worth remembering, she said, that at the time the EU introduced the visa-free regime, the United Kingdom was not part of the Schengen area due to the fact that it has questions about the security of its borders, and these problems have not changed.
Therefore, the ambassador said, this is not only a question about Ukraine, it is a global priority of Great Britain in relation to border security. This issue became especially acute at the beginning of the war in Iraq and because of the problem of jihadists, the fighters who could enter the country, as well as because of flows of illegal migration and the danger of organized crime. These are indicators that are taken into account when discussing the issue of their visa regime with the United Kingdom. So, the future question of what this regime will look like between Britain and Ukraine depends on these indicators, and not on political negotiations or from signing partnership agreements, the ambassador said.