EU-Ukraine visa-free regime can become a real instrument that the Ukrainian authorities regain power over the Russia-occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea, according to Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.

In an interview with "Inter" TV channel, Poroshenko said visa-free regime is one of the first strategic elements to return Crimea and an additional incentive for the Crimean people.

- Either you have the freedom and democratic rules in Ukraine, freedom of investment and a number of other benefits, or you sit in the occupied Crimea without the right to travel internationally, with unemployment since a huge number of companies are shut down, as well as a lot of restrictions on travel, investment, agriculture, etc., said Poroshenko.

According to the President, the visa-free regime may be possible only with biometric passports that can be obtained only on the Ukraine-controlled territory.

Poroshenko promised that after the return of Ukrainian sovereignty over occupied territories all Ukrainian citizens residing there are guaranteed to receive biometric passports, as well as the right to visa-free travel.

Following the EU recommendation to introduce a visa-free regime with Ukraine, Dec 18 President Petro Poroshenko said the visa-free travel to Europe will be possible for Ukrainians as of 2016.