The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously supported the entry into force of the agreement introducing amendments to the visa facilitation agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
Ukraine's ambassador to the EU Kostiantyn Yeliseyev said that the Ukrainian side welcomes the committee's decision. "I have to welcome the first positive news this year in relations between Ukraine and the EU – the results of voting by all political groups in the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament to support the entry into force of the enhanced agreement on visa facilitation," Yeliseyev said. He noted that this decision opens the way for the ratification by the European Parliament of the said document in the near future. Thus, members of the European Parliament showed their consistent support for the gradual introduction of the visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens, the diplomat said. As reported, the agreement between the European Union and Ukraine introducing amendments to the agreement on visa facilitation was signed in Brussels last July. The document stipulates the expansion of categories of citizens who will be eligible for visa facilitation. Under the enhanced agreement, EU member states undertake to ensure the possible submission of visa applications to the embassies and consulates of EU member states in Ukraine without intermediaries. It is also planned to reduce the waiting time for the submission of visa applications and limit the cost of services provided by intermediary companies. To come into force, the agreement must be ratified by the Ukrainian parliament, and in the EU, it must be considered at a meeting of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and a plenary meeting of the European Parliament. After that, the EU Council should adopt a final decision.