SIMFEROPOL/AQMESCIT (QHA) -

If visa restrictions between the EU and Ukraine are lifted, visa-free entry to EU countries will be available to all Ukrainian citizens, including residents of Crimea who have Ukrainian biometric passports. According to Ukrainian laws, biometric passports entitling their holders to visa-free travel are obtainable from passport offices in mainland Ukraine.

“If approved by the EU Council and European Parliament, visa-free entry to EU countries will be available to all Ukrainian citizens, including residents of Crimea who have Ukrainian biometric passports. How can one apply for a biometric passport? The passport is obtainable at any passport office in Ukraine upon submittal of a Ukrainian passport, identification code and receipts confirming payment,” said Yekaterina Kultchitskaya, an expert with Europe Without Barriers NGO.

Messages posted by residents of Crimea on social media indicate they are enthusiastic about the prospect of visa restrictions between Ukraine and the EU being lifted. Unfortunately, quite a few of Crimeans either tore up, or threw away or exchanged their Ukrainian passports for Russian ones.

However, the majority, probably suspecting that the prospect of visa-free travel between Russia and the EU is nowhere near in sight (and that is particularly true of those who collaborate with occupation authorities), kept their Ukrainian passports.

QHA