The fifth President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has written an open letter to incumbent Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the problems he, Poroshenko, has encountered over the past few days while attempting to leave Ukraine to attend international meetings.
In his address, Poroshenko noted that due to "unlawful" obstacles, he could not leave the country as part of the official delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, where he "intended to defend Ukraine's membership action plan", expressing hope that "conclusions have been made" and this will not happen again.
According to Poroshenko, amid Russian aggression, "it is extremely important to maintain the unity and coordination of (Ukrainian) efforts, avoid any internal strife and work together on all possible international platforms, especially such important ones as the European People's Party."
"It is there that decisions will be made, among other things, on the prospects of strengthening the sanctions regime against Russia, the mechanism of Ukraine's postwar reconstruction, and the possibility of granting our country EU candidate status at the bloc’s meeting in late June," he said.
He also stressed that his visit was official at the invitation of the leadership of the European People's Party.
"This is an official trip signed by the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. My speeches at the Congress and the EPP summit, a series of meetings with EU leaders, states and governments, leaders of European parties are planned," he added.
Late on May 27, it emerged that Poroshenko was not allowed to cross the state border in the Lviv Oblast. European Solidarity said he was part of a parliamentary delegation to attend a NATO PA meeting in Vilnius, calling its leader's failure to cross the border a "disgraceful affair commissioned by the current government".
Border guards cited a problem with confirming the validity of the permit as a reason for refusing Poroshenko to pass. During the passport control, the MP provided copies of the Verkhovna Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk's order to send a permanent parliamentary delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, as well as an order from the Rada executive office rep to the Republic of Lithuania to participate in the spring session of the NATO PA.
While checking this document, it was not possible to establish its validity: the QR code could not be read.
Iryna Herashchenko, co-chair of the European Solidarity faction in the Ukrainian legislature, confirmed that the document issued by the Verkhovna Rada chief was not scannable. She said that she had called Stefanchuk about it, and he assured that the issued document was still valid. Herashchenko suggested that the document could have been damaged by someone, and said that "this incident smelt very fishy."
The following day, Petro Poroshenko was denied permission to cross Ukraine's state border with Poland for the second time, allegedly due to problems with the QR code.
On May 30, the former president was finally able to cross the border, according to European Solidarity MPs Volodymyr Ariev and Viktoria Siumar.