"Poroshenko addresses nation following EP visa lib decision for Ukraine"
The vast majority of European political forces, except for marginal pro-Russian, pro-Putin parties, provided a strong support for Ukraine on the issue of visa liberalization, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in his address to the Ukrainian people Thursday. "Visa-free regime will have a significant practical importance for many citizens. Almost three million Ukrainians have already received or receiving now biometric passports required for the visa-free travel," said Poroshenko, according to the president's press service. "The Government and all authorities must persistently work for the number of Ukrainians financially capable of traveling to Europe to be increased year-by-year," the president said. However, the decision of the European Parliament is much broader than visa-free travel or freedom of movement, Poroshenko noted. "It means greater pride for Ukrainian citizenship and greater attractiveness of Ukrainian passport." "It is a symbol of Ukraine’s belonging to common European civilization. It is a bright marker that Ukraine is a part of united Europe, from Lisbon to Kharkiv, and we share common values. It is an evidence of strategic correctness of our European choice, success and irreversibility of our course towards integration into Europe," reads the address. He also stressed that a Thursday voting means the European Parliament’s "recognition of the depth of our reforms," reminding that the visa liberalization action plan consisted of almost a hundred and fifty obligations which have all been fulfilled. "Such innovations as electronic declaration of wealth of those in power or creation of new anti-corruption bodies and reformation of the old ones were made possible due to the implementation of this plan," said Poroshenko. The president expressed sincere gratitude to the President of the European Parliament, rapporteurs of the European Parliament on the Ukrainian issue, delegation for relations with Ukraine, "Friends of Ukraine in the European Parliament" group and all European deputies for their personal efforts aimed to implement this important objective for every Ukrainian. He also said he was grateful to Ukrainian diplomats, people’s deputies, NGOs who have been moving this process together with the president. "Low bow to glorious Ukrainian warriors who defend not only Ukraine’s territorial integrity and European choice, but also the entire system of values of the Old World in the struggle against the Russian aggressor," Poroshenko said. "Now, the ball is in the court of the Council of the EU," the president concluded. "We expect its positive verdict in the coming weeks. I am working in regular contact with leaders of European countries to make it happen as soon as possible."
^ This is one step closer to becoming legal and shows that persistence and hard-work do pay off. Georgian citizens recently received visa-free travel to the Schengen and now it's the Ukraine's turn. ^