Author Archives: marc

Readmission not as terrible as the media painted it

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.
From a report by Olha Vesnyanka. 

5 citizens of Moldova were apprehended during their illegal cross of Ukrainian-Slovakian border


During the detail patrolling (Department of Border Service  “Kamyanytsya” in Transcarpathian region) the tracks of some persons were detected leading to the side of state border. The border guards started the search of the violators and informed about them to their Slovakian colleagues. Soon the border guards of the eastern country oriented by the Ukrainian lawmen detained 5 illegal migrants – citizens of Moldova.

The trespassers of the age 20-37 years old were well prepared to a quick short forced march in a snowy locality. They were dressed in warm clothes and did not have any extra things. In the course of frontier representative meeting in a check point “Uzhgorod” the detainees were passed to the staff of Chop Border Detachment.


On the Readmission agreement between Ukraine and EU


In an interview to Oksana Klymonchuk from UNIAN, Deputy Ministry of Internal Affairs Vasyl Marmazov spoke about the agreement on readmission between Ukraine and the EU which is to come into force from 1 January 2010.

Mr Marmazov stressed that the agreement, reached on 18 June 2007, has already been in force with regard to readmission of nationals of the signatories who have infringed legislation. What is new is the part regarding readmission of nationals of a third country or stateless persons.

“I would like to stress that the law enforcement agencies of EU countries will return nationals of a third country or stateless persons to Ukraine only after they provide evidence that the people in question did in fact reach an EU country from Ukraine”.

He goes on to say that the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA], State Border Guard Service, can agree or not agree the procedure for readmission, and that it will not therefore take place automatically.

The relevant EU officials will need to explain why the illegal migrant should be returned to Ukraine, and not their country of origin, if the EU has a readmission agreement with this country. If it does not, and Ukraine agrees to take the person, then the Ukrainian authorities have to take measures to identify the person and his or her nationality, as well as determining his or her fate.

“There are two temporary centres for illegal migrants which were built over the last 2 years, one in the Chernihiv region (oblast), the other in the Volyn region.

These centres were mainly financed by public funding, however also with the support of the EU and International Organization for Migration [IOM].

The two centres are designed for 373 people and at present are only 70% occupied.  The plan in general is to open 5-7 of such centres. Over the next two years, I think three will be built, this depending on the migration flow, as well as on the EU’s fulfilment of its commitments as per the agreement to help Ukraine in developing institutional capacity.

How much did the centres already built cost?

The one in the Volyn region, for example, cost around 36 million UAH.

The EU is planning to allocate a further 30 million EURO, of which 10 will be for the needs of the State Border Guard Service and 20 – the MIA. In our case, we will use the money on building centres.

Without documents

It does happen that illegal migrants themselves destroy their documents, but there are also often cases where those who illegally transport them take their documents away.  It can take up to a year to establish a person’s identity, he says. If the person applies for refugee status, then the procedure may drag on even longer. “If the person is willing, then procedure for voluntary return may be applied, in which case the MIA works closely with the IOM which helps illegal migrants return voluntarily to their country of origin.

Since 2002 there has been separate funding in the Budget for sending migrants returned from Europe home. In 2008-2009 3 million UAH was allocated, this being money to be managed by the MIA. Another million was allocated to the Border Guard Service.

These figures are clearly insufficient and we are therefore actively promoting the implementation of a programme of voluntary return, with funding from the IOM and other NGOs dealing with migration.

The Ukrainian authorities can also use money from the illegal migrant himself, a person supporting him or at the expensive of third countries.

Where do most illegal migrants come from?

The largest number of illegal migrants reach Ukraine from the Russian Federation, some from Moldova and Belarus.

Most often this is people from China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia and other African countries”.  Mr Marmazov points out the EU recently concluded a readmission agreement with Pakistan, which means that even those Pakistani nationals who reach the EU from Ukraine will be returned to their country of origin.

“Clearly, if for various reasons it is impossible to identify a person for a long time, they’ll be held in the relevant centres permanently. In some cases they remain in our country. However this is a very small percentage of the total number of people held in centres for illegal migrants – 1-2 %. In some cases even with this category, there can be legal grounds for their continued presence in Ukraine – marriage, for example, or the birth of a child. With regard to children born on Ukrainian territory, the provisions in legislation are applied which confirm their rights according to birth.

“I try to be an optimist, analyze everything calmly. I don’t quite accept the fears expressed by the mass media. That indicates only lack of information”.

Asked if there was any benefit to Ukraine from the readmission agreement, Mr Marmazov stressed that one could not speak of readmission in isolation from relations with the outside world, and that Ukraine has to somehow achieve liberalization of the visa regime. He considers readmission to be one of the mechanisms for fighting illegal migration, and sees this as being a task for the law enforcement bodies since the phenomenon is often criminalized. “Readmission generates very serious commitments which is an even greater stimulus for us to fight it.

And at the end of the day it is an element of being civilized. It is an objective reality and I would therefore generally avoid judgments, “black” or “white”.”

From an interview at

Two illegal migrants from Turkey planned illegally cross the river Zahidnyi Buh to Poland

The border guards of Lutsk Border Detachment prevented two migrants from Turkey to cross illegally the state border on Poland through the river Zahidnyi Buh. One of details of department “Hrabove” detected the trespassers and started to follow them. Simultaneously neighbouring sub-divisions and Polish colleagues informed about uninvited guests. The foreigners were attempting to run away. One of them was caught by the border guard at once. The other man was apprehended in 20 minutes with the help of the dog. The detainees were delivered to Border Sub-division. They had documents of citizens of Turkey, a map of automobile roads of Volyn region and a bottle of brandy. As it was cleared out later on, the foreigners knowing Ukrainian and Polish languages arrived to Ukraine with aim to get to Poland illegally. In the end of October they came from Belarus on legal basis.  During their stay in Lviv the men had been preparing to illegal trip – they were examining the maps and determining the route. According to their words they planned to swim over the river Zahidnyi Buh. They took alcohol with them in order to get warm after night winter round. Lyubomylskyi Interdistrict Court has already fixed the punishment – 15 days of imprisonment which they will serve in TAC of Lutsk Border Detachment.


Group of illegal migrants from CIS were detained in Transcarpathian Khust

As correspondent of UA-Reporter was informed in the press-service of State Border Service of Ukraine, the border guards of Mukachevo Detachment and policemen in the frames of joint programme with MIA operative-preventive operation “Migrant” detained 15 immigrants from the countries of CIS.

These are 6 citizens of Russian Federation – immigrants from Caucasian region, 4 Moldavians, 4 Uzbeks and 1 Azerbaijanian having expired migration cards who were in the region of Khust district, Transcarpathian region in illegal state. As far as residential area was in some kilometres from the border so the aim of illegal migrants’ stay was quite obvious.

Now the detainees are delivered to Khust District Department of Police for institution of administrative responsibility on violation of the rules of stay in Ukraine. State Border Service marks increase of the foreigner-violators who arrived to Ukraine for studies. Only for the last days border guards apprehended one citizen of Iraq and three men from Algeria – students of Ukrainian universities on the borders with European Union. Besides, in the airports “Odessa” and “Boryspil” four citizens of Syria, by one from Liberia, Nigeria and Ethiopia were refused to enter the country on the basis of student visa, because they did not have necessary documents and their names were absent in the university list of students.

Souce: (04-11-2009)

The articles in this column are translated media articles from various Ukrainian sources. Often, these are based on press statements from the Ministry of Interior (MoI) or State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGS). They are mere translations and published here for the purpose of documenting developments in Ukraine. Thus, the articles neither reflect the opinion of the Border Monitoring Project Ukraine nor does the BMP approve the statements made in these articles.