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Are Ukrainians looking forward to the visa-free regime with the EU?

Ukraine’s visa liberalization with the EU is planned for mid-June 2017.
Are Ukrainians looking forward to the visa-free regime with the EU?
Edited by: Alya Shandra
Ukraine’s visa liberalization with the EU is planned for mid-June 2017. Just recently, the visa free regime was granted for Georgia. Moldova has been already traveling without visas to Europe for 3 years.But Ukrainians have been waiting for this for so long that now they don’t believe that it will actually happen.

Euromaidan Press asked people on Kyiv’s streets what they expect from a visa-free regime. Here is what we heard:

“I think that it won’t be introduced because we have such a mess in the country,”Vasyl, a construction consultant.

“I don’t really believe in it. We’ll see,” Andriy, a designer.

“Are you sure it will happen in the summer?”, Olha, a student.

Many still can not afford traveling abroad, whether with visas or without.

“I do not have an opportunity because of time and money,” Andriy.

“I am a student, the visa free regime doesn’t give any privileges for me,” Maria, a student.

The visa-free regime with EU does not mean:

  • easier employment of Ukrainians or Georgians to European companies;
  • acceleration of the movement towards EU membership for Ukraine or Georgia.

But what it does mean?

“It will mean some freedom. It means that Europe trusts us. It is a certain level of our development,” a Ukrainian.

“It means understanding what European culture means – which we don’t know,” a Georgian.

“The pluses include: saving time, nerves, and money, free access to the whole EU, and the feeling of belonging to another caste,” a Moldavian.

“Visa-free travel to the European Union member states isn’t only a symbol of the fact that Ukrainians have chosen a pro-European path. They wanted to go direction-West and we need to enable them as good as we can to go direction-West. There are many other issues we have to support them in but the most problematic development is the war in the East of Ukraine,” Rebecca Harms, a member of EU-Ukrainian delegation of the European Parliament.

Ukrainians have been fighting and even dying for EU values. Soon they might become closer to the EU. So will you be glad to welcome them, Europe?

Read also: What should Ukraine expect from the EU visa liberalization? Following the examples of Georgia and Moldova



Edited by: Alya Shandra
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