The EU and Ukraine on Wednesday (29 October) launched talks on allowing Ukrainian citizens to travel visa-free to the EU, with Kiev hoping to finalise the process by 2012, but Brussels reluctant to commit to a specific date.
This is "really a very remarkable event" for EU-Ukraine relations, Ukrainian foreign minister Volodymyr Ogryzko told journalists in Brussels.
"For us, it is absolutely clear that this [achieving visa-free travel to the EU for Ukrainians] should be done not in decades but in years: it is essentially important to finish this process before 2012," when Ukraine will together with Poland host the next European football championship, he added.
Ukraine itself granted visa-free travel to passport holders from 25 EU states in 2005 to attract visitors for the Eurovision song contest finals in Kiev, extending the deal to Bulgaria and Romania in January 2008.
"I am sure we will be done within four years because both side
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