Die Presse: Europe is open for Ukrainians, but only in theory

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Vitvitskiy in photobanks Kyiv — Warsaw at the railway station in the Polish capital. Archival photoDie Presse: Europe is open for Ukrainians, but only in theory© RIA Novosti / Alexei Vitvitskiy the image Bank

Sunday, Ukrainians can travel to Europe without visas, but many of them cannot afford to travel because of lack of money, writes Die Presse.

The journalist of the Austrian newspaper was found in Ukraine with several local residents and discussed with them the situation.

According to 58-year-old Kiev teacher Olga Stetsenko, when Petro Poroshenko announced the cancellation of visas, she, like many other Ukrainians, he immediately decided to «catch him at his word» and went to the passport office.

There she had to stand in a long line, as for travel in the Schengen area need a new biometric passport. In a month, just for the day of the entry visa regime in force, the document was ready.

It cost her a thousand hryvnia (31 Euro) — a quarter of the official salaries in Ukraine. However, Olga was happy to get passport.

«I am happy and satisfied that this stage is over. Now I can travel the whole of Europe — in theory,» she says.

«But what about in practice? But in practice, most Ukrainians can’t afford a long trip, especially in an expensive Western European country,» — writes Die Presse.

The publication notes that the EU, fearing an influx of labour and of migrants from Ukraine, impose severe financial barriers for travelers from this country. Romania, Bulgaria and Greece on the border require confirmation of the presence of the amount of 50 euros on the day, Spain — € 70. Austria did not establish specific rates, each case is considered separately, found Die Presse in the Austrian Embassy in Kiev.

For weakened Kiev authorities visa-free regime was one of the few successful initiatives, especially when you consider that the negotiations on it began in 2008. The posters that advertise it, hanging on the main streets in Kiev and other cities — in particular, in Pokrovsk, which is located on the territory of Donbass. Russia, however, local residents are much closer, both geographically and in terms of worldview.

In Pokrovsk lives 29-year-old Nicholas, who by day repairs the phones, and the evening raps and would like someday to go to the West. But vacation is a dream, and no matter where it is, writes Die Presse. The young father has to pay the bills for electricity, water and gas rates, the increased demand of international creditors. «This is not about travel, but about survival,» explains Nicholas.

The European Parliament and the EU Council signed a document granting Ukraine visa-free regime, may 17. On 11 June he joined the force. Ukrainians can travel to the Schengen zone as well as in Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland with the possibility to stay there up to 90 days. Work permit visa-free regime does not provide.Die Presse: Europe is open for Ukrainians, but only in theoryGo to fotobasketball regime between EU and Ukraine