The Ukrainian ambassador to Britain has urged the Government to lift all visa requirements as he revealed that even his wife, Inna, had previously suffered “bureaucratic hassles” getting into the country.
Appearing before the Commons home affairs committee, Vadym Prystaiko acknowledged that waiving visas was “very sensitive” for the UK, but said that he would be “happy” if the barriers were lifted “for a period of time” to allow in the maximum number of refugees.
He even offered for his embassy officials to “take care” of any refugees entering the UK if the restrictions were lifted.
Echoing criticism by Tory MPs on Tuesday of the “slow and chaotic” Home Office refugee scheme, Mr Prystaiko said that there were “always bureaucratic hassles” in applying to enter the UK, even before the conflict with Russia started.
“To process visas, there was always bureaucratic hassles,” he told the committee.
“I have to tell you that even when I was coming here as ambassador, I got my visa on time. [But] although I was already approved by your government, my wife didn’t have it. So even simple things like that – the bureaucracy is so tough.
“And when we reached agreement for a visa-free arrangement with Europeans, which worked quite beautifully for almost 10 years, we never managed to open this particular nation.”