: RFE/RL: Poroshenko appeals for Euro 2016 visas for Ukrainian soccer fans

14:48 Jun. 7, 2016

RFE/RL: Poroshenko appeals for Euro 2016 visas for Ukrainian soccer fans

A road sign points the way to France at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, United Kingdom. (GettyImages)

France delays visa delivery in view of upcoming Euro football championship

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has appealed to his French counterpart to "facilitate the issuance of visas" for Ukrainian soccer fans planning to travel to France for the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. Poroshenko's office says he made the appeal to Francois Hollande during a telephone call on June 6.

Read also Poroshenko certain Ukraine to get E.U. visa free regime in 2016

The monthlong European Championship finals start in Paris on June 10.

Some 10 people gathered outside the French Embassy in Kyiv on June 6 in protest against delays in getting the visas. In a petition to French Ambassador Isabelle Dumont, protesters said 100 applications have been rejected and 1,000 people were still waiting for an answer.

As reported earlier, famous eight-year-old football fan from the city of Lviv Volodymyr Bobenchyk may miss Euro-2016, because the Embassy of France denied a visa to him and his parents. Along with all the required documents, the family provided the flight tickets and the tickets for two matches of the football championship: Ukraine-Poland and Ukraine-Germany. But the Embassy's consular office concluded that the travel purpose is not proved and refused a visa.

Read also Reuters: E.U. puts brake on visa liberalization for now amid immigration fears

In April, the European Commission proposed short-stay visa-free travel in Europe to Ukrainians with biometric passports. The proposal still needs to be adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council.

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