EU to grant visa-free travel for Ukrainians within 2016: Juncker

Brussels, Nov 24 (IANS) The European Union (EU) will grant visa-free travel for Ukrainians by the end of this year, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday.

Juncker made the remarks at a joint press conference with European Council President Donald Tusk and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after the 18th EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Ukraine has fulfilled all the conditions for this purpose. We should now deliver on visa liberalization,” said Juncker.

Once the new visa regime for Ukraine is agreed with the Parliament and formally adopted, it will provide for visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens travelling to the EU, for a 90-day period of stay in a 180-day period.

However, the Commission proposed to strengthen the current suspension mechanism, making it easier for member states to notify circumstances which might lead to a suspension.

In December 2015, the Commission concluded that Ukraine had met all the benchmarks for the visa-free requirement.