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EU Decision To Grant Visa-Free Travel To Ukrainians Becomes Official

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has described the introduction of visa-free travel to the EU for citizens of his country as "historic."

BRUSSELS -- The European Union's decision granting visa liberalization for Ukraine has been published in the EU's official journal, paving the way for the visa-free regime to enter into force on 11 June, 20 days after its publication on May 22.

The document was signed on May 17 in Strasbourg by EU Parliament and European Council representatives.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who attended the signing ceremony, called it a historic day for the nation.

"It is an absolutely historic day for Ukraine, for my 45-million nation, and I am absolutely confident that this is a historic day for the European Union," Poroshenko said at the time,adding that "Ukraine returns to the European family. Ukraine says a final farewell to the Soviet and Russian Empire."

Ukrainian citizens who have biometric passports will be able to enter all EU member states other than Ireland and the United Kingdom without a visa and stay for up to 90 days during any 180-day period.

The visa-free regime also applies to four Schengen Area countries that are not in the EU: Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

With reporting by Rikard Jozwiak in Brussels
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