Turkey might become new market for Ukraine

Author : News Agency 112 International

Respondent : Kaja Kallas

Source : 112 Ukraine

Euro-MP from Estonia, the deputy head of the inter parliamentary EU delegation – Ukraine, Kaja Kallas, in an interview to the European studio "112 Ukraine" told about the prospects of visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU, how she estimates the of work of the Yatsenyuk Cabinet and whether there is progress in the fight against corruption in Ukraine
10:00, 14 December 2015

112 International

- Which output do you expect of a visa-free regime with Ukraine? This issue is very important for many Ukrainians.

Callas: The latest report shows that to the current visa liberalization was given the green light. This is a very good sign. On the other hand, we must remember that this decision must be approved by all EU member states. And despite the crisis with migrants, the process can be difficult in some countries. Some countries are reluctant to admit people into their territory and do not want to simplify the procedure. So let's see how it will move.

 - Let's talk about politics. How do you estimate the second year of Arseniy Yatseniuk governing? His economic reforms, the fight against corruption?

- Much has been done. We came to Ukraine several times and met with different people. And they say that the police in the street do not take bribes. It has become more European. But this time, the fight against corruption is the main problem. People are convinced that high-level corruption is not disappeared. And there is no political will to overcome it. So I think Ukraine must clearly demonstrate that it really wants to solve this problem. I always say that we started with the 1st starting point. I come from Estonia, and there have been similar problems. Of course, our country is much smaller than yours. However, we had a very strong political will to fight corruption. And I think we succeeded. Ukraine can learn a lot. But we must begin with the political will of the leadership.

 - Do you know the level of wages in the country, particularly among the officials?

Part of the wages are really small, so we have a dialogue, to pick them up and you could pay people a decent wage, and they have no desire to take bribes. At the same time, if the EU gives money, he wants to see the results of the reforms.

 - In continuation of this theme. How do you assess the initiative of Yatsenyuk to create a new EU fund to increase the salaries of civil servants Ukrainian?

-Just yesterday we discussed this, and I think it is logical, if we are talking about the salaries of civil servants. On the other hand the EU says that Ukraine should demonstrate the moves so Brussels could allocate new funds. Reforms first, and then the extra money. But, of course, it is an idea that needs to be discussed.

 - What might be the reaction of Russia that can enter into force the agreement on a free trade area between Ukraine and the EU? As far as you know, compromise was not reached.

- Actually, it's a big problem on the basis of what is happening and given the state of the Ukrainian economy. On the one hand, because of the Ukrainian issue, we agreed on the extension of sanctions against Russia. On the other hand, in Brussels they try to address these 2 issues separately: cooperation with Russia in Syria and the Ukrainian problem. This clear message of the EU - we cooperate with Russia in the Syrian issue, but that does not mean that we have forgotten about the Donbas. I think this is very important. But if we go back to the agreement on the FTA, the question of how Ukraine should position their products on the European market, it is a question of growth of the Ukrainian economy. But there are other markets where Ukraine can get, for example, Turkish, given the deterioration of relations with Russia. Turkey may become a new market, to which Ukraine can deliver the goods. I think it's a good idea.

Related: Free trade zone between Ukraine and EU: Is there any sense without reforms?

Related: European Commission welcomed the implementation of Ukraine action plan on visa-free regime

Related: If Ukraine fulfill all the requirements, European officials will not be able to refuse a visa-free regime

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