It was a great pleasure for me to be in Kyiv today, and I thank President Poroshenko for his hospitality.
I am particularly happy that today I was be able to personally congratulate the President, and the Ukrainian authorities and people for all the reforms they have made under the Visa Liberalisation dialogue, and more generally in its relationship with the EU.
Ukraine has undertaken huge efforts and they have paid off. The fight against corruption has been addressed as a matter of priority and this approach must continue.
Our proposal to offer visa-free travel to Ukraine is an acknowledgement of Ukraine’s successful reforms. That is why it is important that Ukraine remains committed to continue the reform process.
Ukraine needs sustained efforts in the fight against corruption, full commitment to the reform of the prosecution and the judiciary – and the European Union is committed to continue supporting Ukraine all along this process.
Our proposal for visa-free travel for Ukraine is now in the hands of the Council and the European Parliament, and I sincerely hope they will adopt it as soon as possible.
This is about reinforcing business, social and cultural ties between the EU and Ukraine, but also about strengthening people-to-people contacts between our citizens. Of course, visa exemption does not provide for the right to work in the EU, and the proper use of the visa-free rules will be important – but I know that the Ukrainian government has started to inform its citizens about this already.
Let me finish by saying that I look forward to the moment when Ukrainian citizens will start travelling to our Schengen area without visas. It will be a well-deserved moment for Ukraine and its people.
It is a great opportunity for the EU and Ukraine to come closer.