Visa-free travel: joyful day for EU-Ukraine relations, say MEPs
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Visa-free travel: joyful day for EU-Ukraine relations, say MEPs

European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee chair David McAllister (EPP, DE),
EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee chair Dariusz Rosati (EPP, PL)
and Ukraine standing rapporteur Michael Gahler (EPP, DE) issued the following
statement on the signature of EU visa free regime for Ukrainian citizens:
“Today’s signature of the law exempting Ukrainians from visa requirements for travelling in
the EU marks the finalisation of a long process which started already in 2008.
As of next month, Ukrainian citizens will be able to travel to the EU without visa for up to
90 days. It makes no doubt that this will be an outstanding way of developing interpersonal
contacts, facilitating the development of joint projects, and building bridges among the
populations of Ukraine and of the EU. It plants a seed that will hopefully grow into a tall
tree with many fruits.
Fulfilling all the benchmarks of the visa liberalisation action plan has required a
tremendous reform efforts from the side of the Ukrainian authorities. This is all the more
remarkable bearing in mind the challenging conditions under which they had to be carried
out, as a result of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Among the benchmarks that
were fulfilled, we particularly underline the achievements in the field of anti-discrimination
and of fight against corruption. It would be hard to understand backwards steps in these
areas and beyond, now that the visa-free regime has been granted. This is why we call on
the Ukrainian authorities and on our counterparts in the Verkhovna Rada to resist any
attempt to unravel these achievements, and on the contrary to pursue with determination
the fight for the consolidation of the anti-discrimination legislation and for independent anticorruption
institutions.
On this joyful day for Ukraine and for EU-Ukraine relations, we don’t forget however about
the deeply worrying developments in the Eastern part of Ukraine and in illegally annexed
Crimea. We remember in particular the civilians and soldiers who died in the past few days
in Avdiivka. As we heard today from Minister for Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, the
tendency observed since a few months hinting at the integration of the territories held by
Russian troops and their proxies into the Russian economic and administrative system is
aggravating. We reiterate our calls to make all efforts to stop this evolution and to preserve
the unity of the country and of the people, in particular through progress in the
implementation of the Minsk agreements. We believe that these developments must be
taken into account notably in the upcoming discussions on the EU sanctions against the
Russian Federation, especially the economic ones.”