The European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs has voted in favor of recommending that the European Parliament lift visa requirements as soon as possible for Ukrainian citizens who make short trips to the Schengen zone, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze said.
"The European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs recommends that visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens who make short trips to the Schengen zone be lifted as soon as possible. We expect the Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs to make a positive decision as well," Klympush-Tsintsadze said on her Facebook account on Thursday.
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For his part, European Parliament member Jacek Saryusz-Wolski wrote on his Twitter page that the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs had adopted his opinion supporting visa-free travel to Europe for Ukrainian citizens.
This decision was supported by 43 people and another three voted against it, he said.
For its part, the European Union's Delegation to Ukraine said that the committee had also voted in favor of a recommendation to abolish visa requirements for citizens of Kosovo and Georgia as soon as possible.
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The EU Delegation also said that the committee's members had adopted three conclusions calling on the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to accept this recommendation because these countries had made significant progress in introducing criteria to qualify for visa-free travel. Such a step will help promote people-to-people contacts, they said.
The idea of granting visa-free travel to Ukrainian citizens was supported by 42 MEPs from the committee, three voted against it and another six abstained.
A similar decision with regard to Georgia won the backing of 43 MEPs, five voted against it and another three abstained. Thirty-eight committee members supported such a decision for Kosovo, seven voted against it and another six abstained.
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The conclusions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs will subsequently be forwarded to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, which will vote on lifting visa requirements for Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo after the summer recess, the EU Delegation said.