The Ukrainian government began to strictly regulate the stay of foreigners, especially those hired by local companies, back in 2009. Prior to that date, many foreigners simply ignored the local registration and customs rules with impunity.
On Oct. 20, it was a first occasion in my life to participate in political rally with banner in my hands. Certainly there were Maidan in 2004 and students’ hunger strike in 1990, but for me it was more passive, I was just supporting the cause.
Almost a week ago, the Polish EU presidency proudly announced that over 500 media representatives had asked for accreditation to attend the Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw on 29 and 30 September. From the outset it was clear the meeting was mainly a PR exercise and an opportunity for the Polish government to revive one of its pet ideas, especially in the context of elections coming up on 9 October.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has made visa-free travel to Europe one of his country's top priorities. However, the EU is wary of a public opinion backlash and is linking the issue to improvements in Ukrainian democracy and the country''s judicial system.
With the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation, travelling to the European Union without visas seems closer than ever. However, the set of reforms to be implemented by Ukraine to achieve the visa-free regime is very demanding. The key question is whether it will be enough for Ukraine to implement the reforms to get no more visas. Will the EU really base its decision on the fulfulliment of the reforms? This article was written for the Kyiv Post newspaper by Raul Hernandez i Sagrera
The last months illustrated an aggravated sense of discord between the overall positive informational background concerning Ukraine-EU visa dialogue, the perspective of visa free regime for Ukrainian citizens and the actual visa practice of EU Consulates. Such practice exists by its own and does not always evolve towards visa liberalization. (This article was written by Oleksandr Sushko for "Dzerkalo Tygnya" newspaper)