The first visa-free train with a group of more than 40 Ukrainian activists, experts, analysts, artists and journalists has departed from Kyiv to the Polish city of Przemysl, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
Representatives of the Ukrainian government and foreign diplomats solemnly saw off the train from the central railway station of Kyiv.
Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze has said that the coryphaeus of Ukrainian culture and representatives of civil society went to Poland to check how the border crossing with the European Union works on the first day, which, in her opinion, "will now remain only a border, not a barrier."
"Since tonight, we are able to see into our eyes what Europe is like, to study practices there, bring them home, change our country for the better. And the fact that we have received such a visa-free regime, it is first of all the recognition that we have made those reforms that we need," she said.
In turn, Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Peklo said that Ukraine had deserved the introduction of a visa-free regime. According to him, today the EU is opening a European space for Ukraine. Moreover, Ukraine had to receive a visa-free regime a year ago, he added.
EU visa-free travel for Ukraine comes into force June 11He said that he was happy to see off the train to Przemysl today. In addition, he invited everyone to Poland, to enjoy a visa-free regime.
He also recalled that the procedures for checking citizens at the border crossing, which concern the issue of security, were still being preserved. In particular, biometric passports are checked.
Jurgis Vilcinskas, Head of the Press and Information Section at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, said that the visa-free travel would create more freedom for Ukrainians to visit the European Union.
He recalled that, in addition to the EU member states, visa-free travel extends to several other countries entering the Schengen zone, namely Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
According to him, the establishment of business contacts and the implementation of student exchanges will contribute to a "big breakthrough."