EU plans to give Ukraine 50 million euros to fight corruption and visa-free travel regime

The European Union's commissioner for enlargement negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said Monday that the bloc plans to give the former Soviet republic of Ukraine 50 million euros (55 million dollars) to fight corruption.

The EU's executive branch, the European Commission, is setting up a program to support Ukraine's fight against corruption, including to help the country's parliament, society and media, Hahn said during a press conference in Kiev, according to the UNIAN news agency.

Hahn also hopes that by the end of this year the EU will make a favourable decision on instating a visa-free travel regime with Ukraine. The promise of visa-free travel to the EU was a pillar of President Petro Poroshenko's pro-Western campaign in 2014.

Earlier in 2014, Ukraine ousted its pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych amid a mass protest movement calling for closer ties with the West.

However, as Poroshenko has been unable to fulfil several of his main campaign promises, including a major weeding-out of corruption, his approval rating among Ukrainians has dwindled around levels lower than that of Yanukovych.

Poroshenko's approval rating was a meagre 17 per cent in December 2015, whereas Yanukovych's was about 28 per cent before he was ousted, according to the US-based pollster Gallup.

Last update: Mon, 11/07/2016 - 18:56

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