European Parliament backs visa-free travel for Ukrainians

European Parliament has voted for adding Ukraine to the list of countries whose nationals should not get visas for short-term travels and stay in Europe with 521 votes pro and 75 votes contra, with 36 votes abstaining, reports RFE/RL.

EU member states must also approve visa liberalization for Ukraine before the measure enters into force.

Ambassadors representing the 28 EU member states are expected to approve the deal when they meet in Brussels on April 26, and EU sources have told that EU ministers are expected to rubber-stamp the decision on May 11.

The deal would be sealed in a signing ceremony expected shortly after that.

Diplomats have expressed hope that the visa-free regime will enter into force in mid-June.

The decision will apply to all Ukrainian citizens who have biometric passports. They will be able to enter most EU member states for up to 90 days during any 180-day period.

Visa-free travel to the EU for citizens of Georgia began on March 28.