‘A giant step’ European Union bosses approve visa-free travel for Ukrainians

Brussels ministers have approved the measures allowing citizens from the Ukraine to travel to the EU for 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa, but it does not include the right to work in the area.

Kiev has pushed through reforms in migration, public order, external relations and fundamental rights.

Ukraine’s said the visa-free regime was a “giant step towards Europe and assertion of human freedom and independence of Ukraine”.

He said it showed the country was getting rid of its Soviet past and becoming a part of the European civilisation.

People from the Ukraine will need a biometric passport to use the new rules, which will come into force on June 11. 

These new measures will not allow Ukrainians to visit Ireland and the UK, as national laws mean that visas are required. 

The Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said he welcomed the “final step towards visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens”.

He said: “From the very beginning, the Ukrainian authorities have demonstrated their full commitment to address the fight against corruption as a matter of priority and have carried out important reforms in the fields of border management and anti-discrimination. Ukraine has come a long way and today this is recognised and rewarded.”

Ukraine sees the new rules as a step towards visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens.

Mr Avramopoulos added: “Visa-free travel will bring important benefits for citizens on both sides. It will reinforce social, cultural and economic ties between the EU and Ukraine as well as strengthen people-to-people contacts.

“Visa-free travel to the Schengen area will soon become a reality – it is an important and well-deserved moment for Ukraine and its citizens that will make our already close relations even stronger.” 

Mr Poroschenko will sign the legislative act in Strasbourg on May 17. 

The President has set 2020 as a target for EU membership. 

Ukraine is currently hosting the Eurovision song-contest after last year the country’s entrant was Jamala, who won with a song called 1944 that related to Stalin

Daily Express :: World Feed

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