EU Envoy comments on terms of visa liberalization, ratification of Association deal

Head of the EU Delegation in Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has told Realist Online he hopes that in the first half of 2017, a visa-free regime for Ukraine will enter into force and the          EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will be ratified.

The EU Council adopted a decision, which is legally binding both for Ukraine and the EU, according to Mingarelli, Realist Online reported.

He expressed hope that both chambers of the Dutch parliament where the deal will be submitted next spring will support the agreement.

Speaking of visa liberalization for Ukrainians, the EU ambassador said that a positive decision had been taken by 28 Member States, and now the European Parliament in the next few months would vote for the visa waiver suspension mechanism. Once the vote is held, the lawmakers will move on to provide Ukrainians with a visa free travel across the Schengen zone, Mingarelli assured.

At the same time, he says he cannot say exactly how long it could take as negotiations between the EU Council, the European Parliament, and the European Commission are underway, and then the lawmakers have to decide on the issue.
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