Ukrainians got a rare piece of good news on Dec. 8, when the European Union announced it had reached agreement on the conditions for suspending a visa-free regime with Ukraine – the last stage in the long process of granting visa-free travel to the EU for Ukrainians.
The agreement was needed as a failsafe mechanism, allowing the union to re-impose visa requirements for Ukrainians, should certain conditions arise, such as a wave of unjustified asylum applications, or a lack of cooperation by Kyiv on the return of illegal migrants. The issue of migration is a particularly thorny one for the union at the moment – for obvious reasons.
Ukraine long ago relaxed its own visa requirements for citizens of most EU countries, in particular ahead of the UEFA 2012 Soccer Championship, which was held in Ukraine and Poland. Even before the EuroMaidan Revolution of the winter of 2013-2014, Ukraine had been working to achieve reciprocal visa conditions from the European Union, but those efforts stalled when former President Viktor Yanukovych drew back from signing