The Readmission Agreement between Ukraine and the EU regarding nationals of a third country or stateless persons is already in force. However those working to defend the rights of refugees and asylum seekers say that only an isolated few have been readmitted. They note that the media was full of predictions that hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals with unregulated status would be deported to Ukraine, but that this has not happened. According to Yulia Zelvenksa, Eastern Europe Advisor to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, no more than 30 people have come under the readmission rules which came into effect on 1 January 2010.
According to Ms Zelvenska, the procedure itself is extremely complicated, and any readmission from an EU country must be examined on an individual basis to see whether the person requires international protection. If this is Germany, for example, the case needs to be checked together with the embassy and Ministry of Internal Affairs or other body responsible for readmission.
The Ukrainian Refugee Council stress that in discussing the Readmission Agreement it is important to concentrate on real changes which the Agreement’s implementation will bring, and not merely spread xenophobic attitudes towards foreigners. They are concerned, for example, that asylum seekers could be returned from the EU and have doubts as to Ukraine’s being a safe country for those in need of protection.