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Former ambassador urges rise in Ukrainian diplomats' salaries

"NABU detectives are now in vogue, I want diplomats to be in fashion as well."

Former Ambassador of Ukraine to Croatia Markiyan Lubkivskyy says the salaries of Ukrainian diplomats should be at least on the level with the detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

"[Ukraine's Foreign] Ministry requires a serious human and financial upgrading. The salary of attaché at 2-3 thousand hryvnia is absolutely unacceptable, people just cannot not work in such circumstances. Ukrainian diplomats should receive a salary at the level of NABU detectives. The detectives of NABU are now in vogue, I want diplomats to be in fashion as well," Lubkivskyy said at a roundtable conference in Gorshenin Institute on 9 December.

Lubkivskyy stressed that the year 2016 was a disaster for the Ukrainian diplomacy.

"On the past year's achievements of the Ukrainian diplomacy, I should say that this was the year of defeat and lost opportunities," he said and cited the referendum in the Netherlands, delays in the visa-free travel agreement with the European Union, and the fact that Barack Obama became the first US president since 1991, who did not visit Ukraine.

"On the plus side, the sanctions against the Russian Federation have remained in place. It is a positive thing, although I'm not used to rejoice what is entirely beyond our powers. At the same time, it is certainly a feat if we talk about the achievements Ukrainian foreign policy," the former envoy said.

In Lubkivskyy's opinion, the main tasks of the nation's diplomacy for 2017 should be building up relations with the team the US President-elect Donald Trump, the ratification of the Association Agreement with the European Union, the introduction of a visa-free travel and the development of relations with the new EU member states (Poland, Croatia, Lithuania).