Ukraine’s foreign ministry elaborates on timeframe for EU visa-free travel

Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Integration Olena Zerkal said she is hopeful that the European Union’s (EU) visa-free travel for Ukraine will be introduced by the end of this year and elaborated on the ongoing procedure.

“We are optimistic and hope it will eventually happen by the end of the year,” she told Channel 5 while answering a question on when Ukrainians will be able to travel to the EU without visas.

An official report on visa liberalization for Ukraine is scheduled to be presented at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on September 5, she stated.

Zerkal said the European parliamentarians will be given a week to submit their comments and suggestions for the report. “After that, the committee’s next plenary meeting will consider the report along with the comments and suggestions. We hope the procedure will be completed by the end of September,” she noted.
The committee will pass its decision on the European Commission’s proposal for visa liberalization for Ukraine late in September 2016. The issue will then be discussed by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission.
“If there is no disagreement with the legislative proposal – we hope there will be nothing of that – it will be passed at a parliamentary meeting. In October, there will be two sessions during which a decision on this could be taken,” she said.
“The sessions will be in the first week of October and the last week of October. Depending on how it proceeds, it will be either of these weeks. Simultaneously, work is underway at the Council of the European Union. European commissioners claim they expect everything will be completed by the end of October,” Zerkal added.
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