Business news from Ukraine

Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Hagstrom: If corruption comes to bodies issuing documents in Ukraine, this can directly affect EU countries’ security

1 February , 2018  

Suspicions of corruption in the State Migration Service of Ukraine cause concern, as this could affect the security of the European Union, as the State Migration Service issues documents for traveling abroad, Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Hagstrom has said.
“As you know, there is a visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU, so suspicions of corruption in such an important state agency as the State Migration Service cause extreme concern. It is clear why: if corruption comes to the bodies issuing documents, this could directly affect the security of the EU countries,” he said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Hagstrom recalled that the creation of independent anti-corruption bodies was part of the action plan for visa liberalization.
At the same time, the diplomat noted that it is extremely important to support the independence of anti-corruption bodies and continue to develop these institutions.
“Of course, we see the risks of a rollback. We have no illusions that people involved in corruption are not happy with the change in the system and a decrease in the sense of impunity,” the ambassador said.
In his opinion, work should also be done on the perception of corruption. “According to public opinion polls, many Ukrainians perceive corruption at the everyday level as a matter of course. In this sense serious work is also required,” the ambassador said.
The Swedish diplomat expressed the opinion that the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court would be an important step in the fight against corruption in Ukraine and the strengthening of Ukrainian confidence in state institutions.
“The creation of the Anti-Corruption Court, according to the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, would be a key step in fighting corruption based on a sense of impunity … One thing strikes me is the very low level of public confidence in many state institutions. I believe the anticorruption court could strengthen this trust, and corrupt officials would be punished,” Hagstrom said.