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Ukraine is ready for visa-free travel, says EU

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By Euronews
Ukraine is ready for visa-free travel, says EU

<p>Ukraine is ready for visa-free travel – so says the European Council’s Donald Tusk.</p> <p>He was speaking after the 18th EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels, attended by President Petro Poroshenko. </p> <p>The EU has been dragging its feet over lifting visa restrictions. </p> <p>“I am happy that all EU member states decided Ukraine is ready for a visa-free regime,” said Tusk, President of the European Council. </p> <p>“This decision is a recognition of Ukraine’s achievements in meeting European standards.”</p> <p>But there is still no date for the visa liberalisation – details, officials say, still have to be agreed by EU institutions. </p> <p>Germany and France have also been hesitant, both facing elections next year in which anti-immigration feeling will be a burning issue. </p> <p>Poroshenko commented: “European leaders under very severe attack on their principles, by populists, by nationalists, by eurosceptics and by Russians.”</p> <p>The summit came three years after a pro-EU uprising overthrew Ukraine’s pro-Russian president. </p> <p>And while there was public praise on Thursday for Ukraine’s reforms since then, there appears to be frustration behind the scenes – with the fight against corruption viewed as being too slow. </p> <p>Poroshenko was expected to be told to do more to earn closer relations with the bloc.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the EU has signed a new memorandum of understanding with Ukraine on energy. It is said to be all about boosting work on issues such as efficiency and renewable energy.</p> <p>The EU wants Ukraine to remain a transit country for gas. </p> <p>Russia has strived for years to sell more of its gas to Europe, but bypassing Ukraine.</p>