BRUSSELS (QHA) -

The European Commission has announced that Ukraine has moved a step closer to visa-free travel in the European Union, AFP reports.
 
The commission said in a statement that "Ukraine has put in place the necessary legislative, policy and institutional framework and meets the first-phase requirements" for EU visa-free travel.
 
The commission said that this clears the way for launching the second phase where the EU will check to see, for example, whether laws on issuing secure documents or controlling illegal immigration, are in place.
 
Commission president Jose Manual Barroso said, "While important work still lies ahead, this is a very concrete sign to the Ukrainian authorities and citizens that with perseverance the benefits of a closer association with the EU are real and tangible to all."
 
Improved travel ties are part of EU efforts to solidify political and economic ties with Ukraine.

QHA