Arsen Avakov: Ukraine and Canada strengthen cooperation in the field of migration and mobility21 April 2021
Today, April 21, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, and the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada Marco Mendicino solemnly opened the first founding meeting of the Ukrainian-Canadian Working Group on Mobility.
The Minister of Internal Affairs stated that today started an essential stage in Ukraine’s relations with friendly Canada, a country where many Ukrainians live.
The working group’s agenda includes a wide range of issues related to migration and mobility, including simplifying the Ukrainian citizens’ travels to Canada.
“The State Migration Service of Ukraine is an institution that implements the best world practices in ensuring security, preparing and issuing passport documents, and managing the issues of citizenship and migration. Our migration service will make everything possible to achieve the earliest possible progress in resolving issues on the agenda of the working group”, – said Arsen Avakov.
In turn, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba noted that today a new format of bilateral relations between Ukraine and Canada was launched:
“Ukraine pays special attention to the Ukrainian-Canadian dialogue in the migration and visa area. Today, we are opening a new page in history and launching the latest format of bilateral interaction”.
Arsen Avakov stressed that the meeting of the working group on mobility would become an important platform for a substantive exchange of views on the areas of effective interaction and development of cooperation between the migration and border guard agencies of both countries.
“I am very pleased to be involved in the rapprochement of our countries through the intensive dialogue on citizens’ mobility issues. Free and broad cross-border mobility is a significant factor in building relations of complete trust, strengthening friendly relations between peoples. Today we already have a successful experience in liberalizing the procedures of citizen’s mobility with European countries, several countries in the Asian and Middle East regions. Almost four years ago, on June 11, 2017, a visa-free regime between the European Union and Ukraine came into force. My compatriots received the right to freely visit European countries that are part of the Schengen zone. It means that the world community recognized Ukraine as a reliable partner with a good reputation and safe documents, which meet the requirements of the ICAO”, – stated Arsen Avakov.
The Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino noted that substantive professional negotiations between experts from both countries would lay the foundation for closer and effective cooperation in the field of migration and border security, identification of the main risks and threats, and mechanisms for their neutralization.
On January 27, 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, and the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada Marco Mendicino signed a letter of intent, which provides for the creation of a Ukrainian-Canadian working group on mobility issues.
The working group purview includes a wide range of issues in the field of migration, including:
- identifying means to promote citizen’s mobility after countries lift restrictions related to COVID-19;
- dissemination of information on the possibilities of labor migration;
- improving mobility opportunities for Canadian and Ukrainian youth;
- exchange of best practices in migration management;
- working in other areas of shared concern or interest: border control, illegal migration, and risks to integrity.