: Could Ukrainians be able to travel to Europe without visas this summer?

17:27 Dec. 21, 2015

Could Ukrainians be able to travel to Europe without visas this summer?

Flags of the European Union and Ukraine (UNIAN Photo)

Lithuanian Foreign Minister expresses hope for quick visa liberalization for Ukraine 

Lithuania's Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevicius hopes the European Union will accelerate a visa liberalization for Ukraine. He said that in his interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Linkevicius said that he expects the European Commission in the nearest future to provide the European Parliament with a package of regulations on abolishing visas for Ukrainian citizens in case they undertake short-term trips to the Schengen countries.

According to Linkevicius, statements about numerous obstacles for visa-free travels for Ukrainians are really abstract.

"When we talk about 'homework' for Ukrainian MPs - specific tasks Ukrainians (officials) had to fulfill - these tasks have been completed and implemented. So what are the reasons behind hindering the procedure? For me, there is neither moral nor legal justification for stopping or complicating the procedure, which itself is complicated enough", said Lithuania's top official.

Read also E.U. may include a special provision in visa-free regime agreement with Ukraine - reports

The same, he said, applies to Georgia. "It was not easy for Georgia and Ukraine to fulfill all requirements (for visa-free travels). They did it. Now we need to implement what we ourselves decided to do. Many E.U. officials stressed on that, so I hope the process will go on smoothly. We don't have to create additional obstacles on the way or come up with some new rules. It is an endless process, no one is perfect, but these states implemented what they were required to do. Now it is our turn to do our job, and I hope they (Ukrainians) would have obtained a visa-free regime until summer ", said Linas Linkevicius.

Read also EU Commission to propose visa liberalization for Ukrainians in two weeks – media

In March, Ukraine completed fulfilling the requirements under the visa liberalization action plan. The European Commission reportedly has to come up with a legislative proposal to abolish visas for Ukrainians if they make short-term trips to the Schengen countries, until the end of April. Then, this proposal has to be approved by the European Parliament and the parliaments of all 28 E.U. member states. 

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