"Visa-free travel to the EU will maintain! There are forces inside the country seeking to halt Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic integration and at the same time to deprive Ukrainians of visa-free travel. I assure you, their attempts will fail!" reads the statement of Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna on the decision of the Constitutional Court, posted on Facebook.
The Vice PM stressed that the circumstances in which the recent decisions of the Constitutional Court had been made raised questions and caused outrage.
According to the official, this is another signal that the reform of the judiciary, which is currently implemented jointly with the Venice Commission, must be brought to its logical conclusion.
Stefanishyna reminded that President Zelenskyi was convening an urgent meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on October 29 to resolve the relevant issues and he had already stated that he would use his legislative initiative powers to restore effective electronic asset declaration system and accountability for violating anti-corruption laws.
As the Vice PM stressed, the Government of Ukraine is also taking measures that will make it impossible to stop the reforms already underway, including those underpinning Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
"I would like to remind that Ukraine’s path towards EU and NATO is final, inevitable and is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine," Stefanishyna stressed.
Earlier, the media reported that the European Union was concerned about the latest decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on anti-corruption bodies, which could become grounds for temporary suspension of visa-free travel, referring to the text of the letter of Ukraine’s Ambassador to EU Mykola Tochytskyi addressed to Vice PM Stefanishyna.
The Constitutional Court on October 27 declared unconstitutional Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which provides for penalties for incorrect information in asset declarations.
The article provides for liability in the form of a fine or imprisonment for the submission of deliberately inaccurate information in asset declarations by persons authorized to perform the functions of the state or local government.
On October 28, the National Agency on Corruption Prevention(NACP)closed access to the register of asset declarations in pursuance of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
The NAPC said that the judges of the Constitutional Court had made this decision in their own interests, as the agency found signs of several judges declaring false information in their asset declarations.
At the same time, the President's Office said that President Volodymyr Zelenskyi would use his right of a legislative initiative to restore the sustainable and most effective operation of the electronic asset declaration system and ensure the inevitability of liability for intentional violations of these rules.
In this regard, Zelenskyi on October 29 convened an urgent meeting of the National Security and Defense Council to determine measures for the immediate proper response of the state to new threats and challenges to national security and defense.