The visa regime between Ukraine and the European Union could be cancelled in a year, former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko has said live on Radio Liberty.
“If they start dealing with this, it’s not a problem. The legal part is almost complete, and it’s necessary to start implementing it and show within a year that we’re doing it and then finish that. It’s quite realistic,” the ex-minister said.
Speaking about the prospects for Ukraine’s membership of the European Union, Ohryzko noted that the Association Agreement is designed for a period of up to ten years.
“If they wish, they can implement it for seven or at most eight years. In fact, we will then reach the level of 70-80% coincidence between our country and the European Union. And then it will take a year or two, or at most three years, to begin the negotiations,” Ohryzko said.
However, the diplomat warned against excessive expectations during the realization of the EU integration intentions of Ukraine.
“There is a thought in our public consciousness that we need to get a certain gift: from one side or the other. In fact, the issue concerns a chance to start normal work so as to gradually be on a par with a European formula of life,” Ohryzko said, adding that “there will be no manna from heaven on the next day after the signing of the agreement, this is an illusion, and these are post-Soviet paternalistic expectations, which will then lead to disappointment.”
“If Ukrainians want to build a different system, then they should build it in the same way as Poles, Slovaks and Czechs did,” Ohryzko said.