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 World, Ukrainian Politics
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 European Commission Asks Government of Schengen Countries to Issue Long-term Visas for Ukrainians

European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for the internal affairs and joint visa policy of the European countries, appealed to the governments of all the Schengen countries with a request to issue as much as possible long-term visas for Ukrainian citizens.

According to Ukrainska Pravda, Malmström's letter, addressed to the ministers of foreign affairs and interior ministers of European countries, is a closed document, but their correspondent managed to see its text.

The Commissioner stressed that, despite the ongoing negotiations between Ukraine and the EU regarding the complete abolition of the visa regime, the EU Member States need to make better use of existing mechanisms.

In particular, the Commission stressed that the Member States should use its right to issue long-term visas more actively than it is happening today and require less paperwork in applying for a visa.

In a commentary to EuroPravda, the Commissioner confirmed that she sent such an address.

"I have sent a letter to all member countries, in which I stated that you can use the maximum of opportunities provided in the Visa Code for easing the visa pressure on Ukrainian citizens. I know that some countries are doing it quite well, but not all."

Official statistics for long-term visas issueing to Ukrainians is not currently published, but it is known that this percentage is small in most countries with a few exceptions (among those issuing most long-term visas are Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia).

A diplomatic source told EuroPravda that this address is formally a recommendation to the member countries, but most consulates in Ukraine confirmed that they intend to follow these recommendations.

 
 
 
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