European Commission postpones decision on visa-free regime for Ukraine

The European Commission will submit a legislative initiative to abolish visas for Georgia.  This will be submitted to the Council of the EU next week.  Such an initiative for Ukraine, however, has been postponed.  This was reported via Twitter by a correspondent of Radio Liberty in Brussels, Ricard Yozvyak.

“The proposal for the visa liberalization of Georgia will be made by the European Commission next week.  Ukraine will probably have to wait until after the referendum on the Association Agreement, which will be held in the Netherlands on the 6th of April,” Yozvyak tweeted.

The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, had recently signed three laws necessary for Ukraine to comply with the requirements of the visa-free regime of the EU.  However, discussions with the European Commission regarding the controversial law on the electronic declaration are still ongoing.

According to MP Serhiy Leshchenko, who met with senior representatives of the diplomatic agencies of the EU in Brussels, the EU believes that Ukraine has failed to fulfill the legal obligations necessary for the abolition of visas.

The EU emphasized the fact that Ukraine has only fulfilled three out of the five requirements needed.

In order to cancel visas for Ukrainians by the summer of 2016, Ukraine has the next few weeks to "amend the law on declaration by adding criminal penalties for those entering false information in the declarations already made this year.  They would also need appoint three more members to the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption."

The EU also discussed the risks in terminating the Ukraine-Georgia package with regard to visa abolition, and adding it to the package with Turkey.

  EU, Ukraine, Georgia, visa-free regime