KYIV (QHA) -

At midnight on June 11, visa-free regime was introduced in the first eight EU member states for Ukrainian citizens traveling with biometric passports.

Thus, the EU Agreement on visa liberalization with Ukraine entered into force, "European Pravda" reports.

Visa-free traveling entered into force at the borders in several stages due to the fact that the EU states and the Schengen area are in different time zones.

At the first stage, at midnight Kyiv time, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus opened their borders for Ukrainian travelers.

At 1:00 the visa-free regime extended to virtually the entire territory of the European Union, as well as to Schengen countries that are not members of the EU. An hour later, the visa-free travel extended to Portugal, and at 3:00 Kyiv time, Iceland became visa-free for Ukrainians as well.

The UK and Ireland, which conduct their own visa policy, will remain exception of the visa-free travelling.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on the first Ukrainians who crossed the EU borders without visas.

“#Visa-free in action. The Consuls in Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary report the unhindered crossing of the EU borders by citizens of Ukraine on biometric passports. The total number of Ukrainians who crossed the EU border as of 5:35 runs into hundreds. Consuls continue to monitor the situation at checkpoints. In case of difficulties, the consul is nearby.”

Earlier QHA reported that on April 6 the European Parliament supported the granting of visa-free travelling to the EU for Ukraine. On April 26 the procedure was certified by the ambassadors of the EU, and on May 11 - by the Council of Ministers of the European Union. The official signing ceremony took place on May 17 in Strasbourg, attended by a Ukrainian delegation led by President Petro Poroshenko.

Reference: Visa-free regime entitles to short-term visits to EU countries (no more than 90 days stay for every 180 days) for Ukrainian citizens traveling with biometric passports.

PHOTO: Internet

QHA