EU reaches deal to grant visa-free travel to 50 million Ukrainians and Georgians
The EU has reached the agreement to grant visa-free travel to 50 million Georgians and Ukrainians, The Independent reports. The deal has been struck on Thursday to end an internal EU dispute,which held up the promised measures up to now. Although, the deal must still be formally approved by the rest of the member states as well as the European Parliament.
The visa requirements will be reintroduced in case there is a staying irregularity in the EU territory by citizens of the Ukraine or Georgia. Also, if there happens a rise in unfounded asylum applications, or if nationals pose a security threat or there is a lack of cooperation on returning migrants, then visa requirements will be reintroduced.
“The fact that an agreement has been reached, should open doors to further progress on visa liberalization with other countries that meet the requirements” – said Robert Kalinak, Slovak Interior Minister.
The head of the European Council said that the EU is putting its reputation and credibility at stake by letting internal political disputes delay the promised ease of visa requirements for the 45 million citizens of Ukraine and the 5 million citizens of Georgia.
— Johannes Hahn (@JHahnEU) December 7, 2016
The two former Soviet republics – Ukraine and Georgia – seek to move away from their former master Moscow and get closer to the West.
Allowing travel into Europe’s Schengen Zone without having to apply for visas in advance is an important incentive for the people in these two countries to accept hard reforms coming from both governments in Kiev and Tbilisi.
“The agreement is balanced and important for both, the effectiveness and the credibility of the Union’s visa liberalization policy” – confirmed Mr. Kalinak.