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Diplomat sees EU’s visa cancellation as 'smoke-and-mirrors' gimmick for Kiev

On May 11, the EU Council decided to liberalize visa rules for Ukrainian citizens

MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksey Meshkov has likened the EU Council’s visa liberalization decision for Ukraine to a 'smoke-and-mirrors' gimmick.

"The so-called visa-free procedure in relations with Ukraine is a smoke-and-mirrors gimmick in a sense. It does ease the previous state of affairs, but only a little bit," Meshkov said on the sidelines of a meeting of the discussion club Valdai.

He recalled that the EU’s entry requirements remained basically the same - only for three months during a six-month period. Meshkov also recalled that the measure had nothing to do with obtaining a work permit.

In this particular case, he said, there is no difference between travelers with visas or without them. "By and large those of our fellow citizens who have obtained five-year Schengen visas will enjoy the same opportunities as Ukrainians without visas," Meshkov said.