Croatia Supports Visa-Free Regime for Ukrainian Citizens

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Prime Minister Plenković is in Kiev meeting with Ukrainian officials.

Croatia is committed to the abolition of the visa regime for Ukrainian citizens and believes that the European Union should make that decision as soon as possible, said on Monday in Kiev Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković after meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Grojsman, reports Jutarnji List on November 21, 2016.

“I want to send a very clear message that Croatia is committed to the abolition of the visa regime. This is a decision that should be made as soon as possible, since Ukraine has fulfilled all the conditions which the European Commission presented ten months ago”, said Plenković to reporters after the meeting. According to Plenković, the decision would “contribute to the strengthening of economic cooperation, tourism cooperation, and overall relations, not only with Croatia, but also with other EU member states”.

Grojsman told reporters that he expected “the European Union to keep its promise to introduce a visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens”.

Plenković added that he would make every effort to find a solution which would allow entry into force of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine, regardless of the outcome of the Dutch referendum about the issue. In April, the Dutch rejected the agreement in a referendum and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that his government intended to respect the result, although the referendum was just consultative.

Speaking about possibilities for economic cooperation, the Ukrainian Prime Minister said that he and Plenković talked about a new area of ​​cooperation, the energy sector. “We are pleased that Croatia is working on constructing an LNG terminal and we are very interested to participate in this project, because it could help us ensure energy independence of our country”. He also thanked Plenković on establishing a working group which would enable Ukraine to benefit from Croatia’s experience in relation to peaceful integration of occupied territories, stressing that the issue is very important for Ukraine in the current situation.

Croatian Prime Minister said he was convinced that Ukraine needed peaceful reintegration of occupied territories. “Unfortunately, about 10,000 people have lost their lives and further loss of life should be avoided in the future”, he noted. Plenković also pointed out that Ukraine was the first member state of the United Nations to recognize independence of Croatia in December 1991. “We will never forget this”, he said.

Today is the third anniversary of the uprising of the Maidan, and Plenković, together with Grojsman and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, paid tribute this morning on behalf of the Croatian delegation to victims that have fallen for the freedom of Ukraine. “I am glad that my personal involvement in the European path of Ukraine, which I exercised over the past two and a half years as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Ukraine in the European Parliament, can now be continued as Croatian Prime Minister”, said Plenković.

After the meeting, the delegations signed several agreements between the two governments.


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