EU May Add New Conditions to Visa-Free Travel for Turkey, Georgia and Ukraine

TBILISI - The European Union (EU) is considering adding a so-called suspension revision to the visa-liberalization agreement with Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey, German national daily newspaper Die Welt reports.

Based on information provided by an unnamed diplomat in the Euro Commission, Die Welt reports that the special paragraph implies suspension of visa-free travel with Turkey if Ankara cannot fulfil commitments over refugees.

As unspecified source said similar conditions might be put in place for Georgia, Ukraine and Kosovo.

According to Die Welt, the final decision has yet to be made but the topic will be discussed in Luxembourg within the frames of the meeting of EU interior ministers on Thursday.

“Georgia’s Foreign Minister has not received any official or unofficial information that the EU may add new conditions to the visa-liberalization agreement with Georgia,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry informed Inter Press News service.

Gigi Gigiadze, Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, emphasized that Georgia has fulfilled all visa-liberalization requirements and expects the achievements to be recognized.

‘We have not received any official information and cannot imagine how the European Union can introduce any new conditions concerning visa liberalization,” Gigiadze said.

Related coverage: Visa Free Travel with EU: Green Light to Georgia, but not for Unlimited Travel

Georgia expects its visa-free regime with the EU to come into force by June. The European Commission has already proposed that the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament lift visa requirements for Georgian citizens within six months.

By Tamar Svanidze

Photo: AP

18 April 2016 15:48