The Ukraine-EU relations have recently reached a new milestone following an ongoing trend of positive developments. After long negotiations and numerous delays, on May 17, 2017, Ukraine and the EU finally signed a legislative act granting an EU visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens. At a press conference following the signing ceremony, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, stated: “Today is a historical day for Ukraine, for my 45 million nation. And I am absolutely confident that this is a historical day for the EU. Ukraine returns to the European family. Ukraine says final farewell to the Soviet and Russian empire.”
On May 22, 2017, the official bulletin of the EU published the decision on visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens. Per the decision, within 20 days (starting from June 11), all Ukrainian citizens holding biometric passports will be able to travel without a visa within the EU and Schengen countries (including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein) for up to 90 days during a 180-days period. It is worth noting that the said law does not grant any right for permanent residence, working and/or studying.
The new visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens will further enhance the existing intra economic and political relationships with the EU and is a step forward towards Ukraine becoming a member of the union.