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EU Proposes Visa-Free Travel To Ukrainians

  • RFE/RL

BRUSSELS -- The European Union has proposed offering visa-free travel in Europe to Ukrainians.

"Today, we follow up on our commitment to propose short-stay, visa-free travel to the EU for Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports," European Commissioner for Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said on April 20.

"We need to be united and stand by our neighbor," he also said, expressing hope that visa-free travel for Ukrainians will become a reality "very soon."

The decision will come as a relief to the pro-Western government in Kyiv as many feared that the visa-liberalization process could grind to a halt after the Netherlands earlier this month voted against the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU in a consultative referendum.

However, it is still unclear how fast the liberalization process will be dealt with in the European Parliament and European Council, where some EU member states might want to slow down the process.

The EU's neighborhood commissioner, Johannes Hahn, travels to Ukraine on April 20 to officially present the proposal.