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European Commission


Brussels, 17 August 2012

Joint statement by the spokespersons of High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the extradition of an internationally recognised refugee from Ukraine

The spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made today the following statement:

“High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle are deeply concerned at news that an individual from the Russian Federation (Republic of Ingushetia) recognised as a refugee under international law was extradited from Ukraine on 15 August. They fully endorse the conclusion of UNHCR that this case demonstrates a breach in the obligation to respect the principle of non-refoulement.

The High Representative and the Commissioner note that the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation under the EU-Ukraine Visa Dialogue includes a number of commitments by Ukraine relating to adoption of asylum legislation in line with international and EU standards, including protecting the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. It is regrettable that in this case Ukraine appears not to have respected these commitments, despite repeated and explicit requests in the last weeks from both UNHCR and the EU.”

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