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EU to postpone visa-free regime with Ukraine if Rada fails to pass necessary laws — FM

November 09, 2015, 3:59 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, November 8. /TASS/. The European Union will delay introduction of the visa-free travel regime with Ukraine if the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] fails to adopt necessary bills, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said on Sunday.

"If we don’t do it [vote for a package of visa-related bills], the date of introducing the visa-free regime will be reviewed," he told the Inter television channel.

He said Ukrainian lawmakers have little time, "just a few session weeks," to adopt the package agreed with the European Union. The minister called on the lawmakers to tackle another round of voting on the visa regime liberalization bill as "a top priority matter."

On Thursday, November 5, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada failed to pass the visa package due to bitter controversy. Rada speaker Vladimir Groisman postponed the voting to November 10. The stumbling block in the voting was a bill on a national agency for the search and management of assets derived from corruption-related and other crimes.

The speaker however was optimistic about the passage of the bills. "I am sure the chances are not lost. I am sure we will find possibilities, we will hold more consultations and finally stop our disputes," he said. "I am sure we have time and possibilities to do that."

Ukraine needs to enact 13 laws related to the liberalization of the visa regime with the European Union to draw a final report on EU claims by December 15. The claims were in particular about anti-corruption measures and coordination of the migration service’s databases.

In September, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Johannes Hahn refused to say when Ukraine could be granted visa-free travel regime.

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