The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expects the European Union to open its borders to Ukrainians during the next update of the list of epidemiologically safe third countries, which will be made in two weeks, the ministry's spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko, has told Ukrinform.
Commenting on media reports that the EU did not include Ukraine during the latest update of the "safe list," he noted that "there is no politics in the recommendation of the European Commission."
Nikolenko said that EU member states review the list of third countries for free entry into the territory of the European Union every two weeks. The recommendation is based on four factors: the rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 14 days, the number of tests performed in the past seven days, the level of positive tests, and the nature of the virus, including the presence of more dangerous strains.
He said that the European Commission had been assessing indicators in Ukraine for the past few weeks, when they were still above the norm.
"As we are now getting closer to the norm set by the European Commission, on the instruction of Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the Mission of Ukraine to the EU is working with the European side to include Ukraine in the list during its next review," Nikolenko said.
He also noted that the European Commission's recommendation to open the EU's borders to a certain list of countries is not legally binding. "EU member states individually approve final decisions on easing or tightening travel restrictions. Accordingly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is working with European countries bilaterally to simplify travel conditions for Ukrainians, in particular on the recognition of vaccination certificates and digital COVID certificates," Nikolenko said.