The European Parliament on Thursday approved by overwhelming majority an informal deal that would allow Ukrainian citizens to enter the European Union (EU) without visas for short stays.
The agreement, approved by 521 votes to 75 with 36 abstentions, still needs to be formally adopted by EU member states.
Under the new law, Ukrainians who hold a bio-metric passport will be able to enter the EU without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period.
The deal applies to all EU countries, except Ireland and the UK, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
“Ukraine has achieved all the benchmarks, so the visa requirement should be lifted,’’ said rapporteur for the proposal Mariya Gabriel, adding that the visa waiver would be “another very strong message that Ukraine is a key partner for the European Union in the Eastern Partnership.’’
The new regulations are likely to enter into force in June.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte