One of the key arguments against the EU granting Ukraine a visa-free regime is the lack of stability on the “border” between the divided territory controlled by Ukrainian authorities and the territory controlled by separatists in Donbas. However, it should be noted that the Ukrainian government has endeavoured, since the beginning of 2015, to control the movement of people and goods in this area.
Ukraine is not a unique country facing the problem of separatist regions uncontrolled by central authorities in the context of negotiations with the EU on visa liberalisation. Before the Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership in November 2013, the European Commission stated “that the Republic of Moldova meets all the benchmarks set in the four blocks of the second phase of the VLAP”. Five months later Moldova received a visa-free regime with the EU despite being adjacent to Transnistria, an unrecognised, self-proclaimed state in the internationally-recognised territory of Moldova.
It therefore appears to be a question of whether it is possible for Ukraine to implement the Moldovan solution towards the separatist, so-called, people’s republics and whether the EU recognises the Ukrainian procedures as appropriate in the context of visa-free movement.
The whole document can be read here as pdf: No 2 – Towards visa-free regime – UkraineTags: Association Agreement, EaP, EaP summit in Riga, Eastern Partnership, EU, EU visa, Schengen visa, Ukraine, visa facilitation, visa free EU, Visa Liberalisation Action Plans, VLAP