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Ukrainian envoy is against influx of labour to Czech Republic

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Prague, April 18 (CTK) – It would be better if Ukrainians worked at home and were not looking for jobs abroad, the new Ukrainian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Yevhen Perebyinis, told CTK on Tuesday.

“In my view, it would be ideal if the Ukrainians stayed at home because in our country, too, we have a great deal of work,” Perebyinis said.

“But this is the reality that some people leave for work abroad and Ukraine is not the only country facing the problem,” he added.

Perebyinis took up the office in January.

According to the official statistics 81,209 Ukrainians had permanent residence and another 29,036 temporary residence in the Czech Republic at the end of last year.

The Czech Chamber of Commerce says Czech companies need to fill up to 140,000 vacancies, mostly jobs demanding medium or low skills.

The Czech government supports the migration of skilled manpower from Ukraine by several programmes.

However, the companies complain that employing Ukrainians was lengthy due to the poorly working visa system and an insufficient consular staff.

The Foreign Ministry recently increased the staff in the consular office in Lviv and the number of accepted visa applications.

The media has speculated that the “visa mafia” is active in the sphere of granting work visas.

“It is hard to say how many foreign workers are needed by the Czech market,” Perebyinis said.

“However, I am no advocate of Ukrainians’ mass exodus abroad,” he added.

He said he only knew about the problem with the issuing of the documents from the media.

“As far as I know, the Czech authorities have not turned to the Ukrainian law-enforcement bodies with any problems with cheats on the Ukrainian side who may manipulate the system,” Perebyinis said.

In general, if a system is simple and transparent, there is no opportunity for corruption, he added.

The problems with the granting of work visas to Ukrainians are an affair of Czech authorities, Perebyinis said.

In the past weeks, he was dealing with the problems associated with Ukrainians’ illegal employment in the Czech Republic.

The foreigner police actions were triggered by the case of the Czech company Ukrainians using the Polish visas worked for it.

Perebyinis said his fellow countrymen were victims of the situation.

“In the first place, the Czech police should investigate those who force Ukrainians into breaching the law. These may be the middlemen from the Polish and Ukrainian side,” he said.

“Ukrainians often do not know that they must not travel with the Polish visa to the Czech Republic,” Perebyinis said.

He spoke with representatives of the Czech Interior Ministry about the expulsion of hundreds of Ukrainians.

He said this was a Czech affair which he did not interfere in.

“We are ready to act if the Czech side needs some help in connection with this question in order to agree on some joint steps,” Perebyinis said.

He said the embassy had not received any complaint about the expulsion over work with the Polish visas.

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