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KIEV, July 22. /TASS/. It became more difficult for Ukrainian citizens to obtain a Schengen visa, the Yevropeiskaya Pravda Ukrainian on-line edition reports.
Citing the data provided by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin, the on-line edition says that "some consulates deliberately do not issue visas to our fellow countrymen, even in case they are entitled to them. The list of these countries has not been made public, but Ukraine’s top diplomat said that "the Foreign Ministry exerted pressure on them demanding a return to the previous practice."
The Ukrainian edition also cites the 2014 statistics, according to which "of 22 countries of the Schengen Area 16 countries increased the number of visa denials to Ukrainians compared to 2013."
"Switzerland and Finland refused visa applications three times more often, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Sweden - almost twice more often. Belgium established a record - almost 5,5% of the total number of applications, but last year this figure grew to 9,5%," the Yevropeiskaya Pravda writes.
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has repeatedly said that members of the European Parliament would help Ukraine "to get a visa-free travel regime in 2016". Representatives of the European Union said it was possible to consider the report of the European Commission on the visa-free travel regime with Ukraine in September. The Ukrainian president said he hoped that Ukraine would be able to apply for EU membership within the next five or six years.