EU, Ukraine sign visa liberalization agreement
The EU and Ukraine signed a visa liberalization agreement on Wednesday, allowing Ukrainian citizens visa-free travel to the bloc for short stays, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
"Today is a historical day for Ukraine, for my 45-million nation. And I am absolutely confident that this is a historical day for the EU," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said at a joint news conference with the president of the EU Parliament, Antonio Tajani after the signing ceremony in Strasbourg.
"Ukraine returns to the European family. Ukraine says final farewell to the Soviet and Russian empire," Poroshenko added.
Tajani, for his part, said the signing of the legislative act was a "good message for Ukraine".
“After this positive decision, the relations between Ukraine and the European Union will be easier," he said.
Under the scheme, which will enter into force in June, Ukrainians who hold a biometric passport will be able to enter the EU without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period, for tourism, to visit relatives or friends, or for business purposes, but not to work.
The visa exemption applies to all EU countries, except the U.K. and Ireland.
The EU Parliament approved the visa waiver a month ago, and the EU Council approved it last Thursday.
Three months ago, European lawmakers passed a similar legislation for Georgia. Both former Soviet states had long urged the EU to grant their citizens visa-free travel to help deepen ties with the West.
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