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BRUSSELS, December 7. /TASS/. The issue of prospects of introducing a visa-free regime for short-term trips between Ukraine and EU will be considered in 2016 depending on the reform process in Ukraine, a diplomatic source in Brussels said on Monday.
"The issue of (introducing) a visa-free regime (between Ukraine and EU) for short-term trips will be considered in 2016," the source said ahead of the session of the EU-Ukraine Association Council. "Today this topic is on top of the agenda. On December 15 the European Commission will publish a planned report on Ukraine’s progress on the way to visa-free regime. Depending on this assessment and considering general reform progress in Ukraine and Kiev’s efforts in fighting corruption, the European Council will make a decision on visas," the diplomat said.
Talking about the upcoming EU-Ukraine Association Council, the source noted that "the EU-Ukraine agreement on free trade will come into force from 1 January 2016."
The participants in the tripartite talks in Brussels on September 12, 2014 reached an agreement to postpone the entry into force of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine until early 2016. Russia opposed the initial version of the agreement, as liberalization of trade between Ukraine and the European Union could adversely affect Russia’s foreign trade due to the fact that Ukraine, planning to enter the EU free trade area (FTA), is also member of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) free trade zone.
Moscow says if Kiev violates the September agreements Russia will apply to Ukraine the most favored regime instead a more liberal regime of movement of goods within the CIS free trade area, or use other protective measures.