Ukrainians no longer require visas to travel to EU
The first plane from Kyiv landed in Vilnius after the entry into force of the visa-free regime on 11 June, allowing Ukrainian citizens to enter the Schengen area without visas.
The arriving Ukrainians were welcomed by the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Lithuania Volodymyr Yatsenkivskyi, the Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Lithuania Arnoldas Pranckevičius and Vincas Jurgutis, member of Vilnius City Council. The passengers were greeted by a Lithuanian diplomats’ choir.
“That Ukrainian citizens no longer need visas to travel to EU countries is undoubtedly important not only for Ukraine, but also for us. Lithuanian diplomats have consistently supported the country and worked together with Ukrainians for several years, so that an aircraft, like this one today, could land not just in Vilnius,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister.
As of 11 June, all Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports, including the ones living in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, will no longer require visas, when travelling for short stays of up to 90 days to all 26 EU member states except for Ireland and the UK, as well as the four Schengen associated countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. This is a significant and long-awaited achievement. Georgian citizens were granted visa-free travel to the Schengen area in March of this year.
In 2016, the Embassy of Lithuania in Ukraine issued more than 95, 000 visas for Ukrainian citizens. In 2017, over 43, 000 visas were issued by the Embassy until 11 June.
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