A visa facilitation agreement between Ukraine and the European Union is giving positive results. The number of visas issued by the consulates general of EU member states tripled compared to 2007. The European Commission's representative in Ukraine, Bernhard Bogensperger, announced this during a public debate dedicated to Europe Day celebrations in Kyiv on May 11. Cabinet's press service reports.
He said that the number of visa refusals had decreased from 9% to 6%. 94 out of hundred people, receive Schengen visas. At that, Ukrainians have to pay EUR 35 to gain visas, while Belarusians EUR 60. These figures are evidence that the EU-Ukraine visa facilitation agreement is already in effect and is giving positive results, Bogensperger said.
A number of Ukrainian citizens, who also attended the debate, did not agree with his view. They said that now, it became more difficult to receive visas than it was before the signing of the agreement.
The deputy director of the consular service department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Serhiy Borodenkov, while commenting on the situation, said that the Ukraine-EU joint committee involved in overseeing the situation with visa issuances had held its first meeting in April. The Ukrainian party briefed the EU on cases of violations of the agreement's clauses by certain consulates of EU member states. Borodenkov expressed hope that the European side would take into account all of the problematic issues.
He said that the agreement foresees significant preferences for Ukrainian citizens, while the preamble of the agreement foresees prospects for introducing free travels for Europeans and Ukrainians.
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