June 12, 2020

Ukraine says it is ready to negotiate liberalization of visa regime with Australia


ESSENDON, Australia – The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations (AFUO) welcomes Ukraine’s decision to consider the liberalization of its visa regime for tourists from Australia, New Zealand, China and the United Emirates.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on June 6 instructed Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to examine the options based on reciprocity.

The AFUO has for some time been working with Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President, calling on Ukraine to liberalize its visa regime for Australians.

The AFUO sees Ukraine as an exceptional tourist destination from the point of historical sites, culture, entertainment, cuisine and cost. In today’s climate, bilateral business opportunities are also becoming more of a reality.

The AFUO has argued that, while diplomatic protocols are important, at this time Ukraine should take the lead. Reciprocity will come in due course. Canadian, British and other nationals do not require a visa to visit Ukraine under certain conditions. However Ukraine nationals still require visas to enter Canada, Great Britain and other countries. There is no full reciprocity with these countries.

Now is the time to liberalize the visa regime and invite Australian tourists to plan a visit to Ukraine, the AFUO believes. The AFUO has called on the Australian government to also consider relaxing its visa regime for Ukrainian nationals.

“Ukraine would benefit greatly economically, socially and in furthering cultural diplomacy by taking the lead, and liberalizing the visa regime and inviting Australians to visit Ukraine,” Stefan Romaniw, co-chair of the AFUO said.

“When the time comes that we are out of COVID-19, that borders open up for international travel, it could be a real shot in the arm for Ukraine’s economy and travel industry if Australians woke up to a liberalized visa regime and this convinced them to visit Ukraine. The time is right,” Mr. Romaniw added.

“The AFUO will continue to work with both Ukrainian and Australian governments in trying to find a suitable outcome that will see Australians when traveling on their European adventure, not missing the opportunity to visit the jewel in the crown of Europe – Ukraine,” Mr. Romaniw said.