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Cabinet Approves Action Plan For Visa-Free Arrangements With EU

This Government decision is a positive signal and a step towards Ukraine’s fulfillment international obligations to the EU.

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the action plan for fulfillment of the second phase of the European Union’s Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP), Cabinet Minister Ostap Semerak has told a news briefing.

“Yesterday approved the programme for transition to the second phase of the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the European Union,” said Semerak.

He calls this Government decision a positive signal and a step towards Ukraine’s fulfillment international obligations to the EU.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, when opening a Cabinet of Ministers session on August 20 Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk announced the Government’s intention to approve the action plan for visa-free arrangements with the EU.

Yatseniuk says the main question arising in this regard is issuance of biometric passports. He considers the planned issuance rate of 20,000 biometric passports a month insufficient, as queues for receiving new passports may reach 200,000 people.

The European Commission approved the second phase of the VLAP on May 27.

Ukraine received the EU VLAP in November 2010.

The Plan consists of two phases, in the first Ukraine had to pass the required amendments to its legislation, and in the second the European Commission will be assessing implementation of these legislative changes in practice.

President Petro Poroshenko reckons the European Union will abolish visas for Ukrainians from January 1, 2015.

Foreign Affairs Minister of Latvia Edgars Rinkevics hopes Ukraine will have fulfilled the second phase of the VLAP before the Eastern Partnership summit, due to take place in Riga in May 2015.

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