Hahn: Ukraine fulfilled conditions for visa free regime with EU
Official says Ukrainians will be able to travel to EU member states without visas by the end of the year
Ukraine met all conditions that allow its citizens traveling to EU without visas, said Johannes Hahn. In his interview to Radio Liberty, he noted that compliance with the EU laws is the key condition for Ukraine’s further progress on the European integration path.
“I’m well aware of the challenges that Ukraine faces; there’s this armed conflict going on, and there are a million and a half of internally displaced persons and big problems in the economy. That’s a big challenge for the Ukrainian government”, Hahn said.
He added that Kyiv has yet a long way to go in order to pass the necessary laws regarding the association with the EU and then implement these laws.
The EU Commissioner expects that citizens of Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo will be able to to travel to EU member states without visas by the end of 2016. “The political decision is yet to be made, but these countries have held on to the necessary standards”, he said.
On April 20, the European Commission offered the European Parliament and the European Council to cancel visas for Ukrainian citizens. Upon accepting the proposal by the European Parliament and Council, citizens of Ukraine will be able to travel without visas with biometric passports for the period of 90 days to the Schengen area. The non-visa regime will be applied to all member countries of the EU, except for Ireland and Great Britain, and four associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). At the same time, cancellation of the visa regime does not stipulate automatic provision of work permit in the EU.
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