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EU Commission To Push Ahead With Ukraine Visa Liberalization

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn

BRUSSELS -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn says the European Commission plans to go ahead with its proposal for visa liberalization for Ukraine -- despite a Dutch referendum last week that rejected Ukraine’s Association Agreement with Kyiv.

Hahn told RFE/RL on April 12 that it would be “unfair” not to go ahead with visa liberalization for Ukraine because Brussels has “always asked certain conditions” from Kyiv.

Hahn told RFE/RL: “We have worked on this issue for some years. We have always argued that we are following a certain methodology. They have accepted it. They have delivered. Now I think it is a question of fairness to fulfill what we have promised.”

Sources in Brussels say the visa liberalization proposal for Ukraine is likely to come by the end of April and will allay fears in Kyiv that the nonbinding Dutch referendum will slow down the establishment of visa-free rules for Ukrainian citizens.

But it remains unclear when EU member states and the European Parliament would vote on the proposal.

The EU's 27 other members have ratified Ukraine’s EU Association Agreement and it went into effect in January.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak in Brussels