EU Foreign Ministers Support Immediate Visa-Free Regime for Georgia and Ukraine

JURMALA, Latvia - European foreign ministers from the Baltic States, Nordic countries and Visegrad Group members the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have called for immediately granting visa-free travel to Georgia and Ukraine.

At a meeting in the Latvia’s Baltic Sea resort town Jurmala on Friday the ministers discussed multiple security issues and reiterated the importance of maintaining unity and solidarity amongst all EU members amid rapidly increasing tensions with Russia and the ongoing migrant crisis. The group also stressed that the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy should top Brussels’ agenda for the time being.

“The ministers confirmed their readiness to continue bolstering the implementation of the Association Agreements with Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova and emphasized that cooperation with other partner countries should develop in conformity with the differentiation principle,” the Latvian Foreign Ministry said in a prepared statement.

The European Commission announced early last week that Ukraine had met its criteria for visa liberalization.

Georgia expects its visa-free regime with the EU to come into force by June. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed that the Council of the European Union and the EU Parliament lift visa requirements for Georgian citizens within six months.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

Photo: Latvian Foreign Ministry

24 April 2016 14:58