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EU Members Endorse Visa Liberalization For Ukraine

BRUSSELS -- European Union member states endorsed visa liberalization for Ukraine on May 11, clearing the final hurdle for Ukrainian citizens to travel to the EU's Schengen Area without a visa.

Representatives of the European Council and the European Parliament are now expected to rubber-stamp the decision in Strasbourg on May 17, with the visa-free regime due to enter into force on June 11.

The decision will apply to all Ukrainian citizens who have biometric passports. They will be able to enter all EU member states apart from Ireland and the United Kingdom for up to 90 days during any 180-day period.

It also applies to the four Schengen-area countries that are not in the EU: Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

Visa-free EU travel began on March 28 for citizens of Georgia, another former Soviet republic that is under pressure from Russia.

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