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Slovakia agrees to free visas for near-border Ukrainians

SLOVAKIA agreed to issue visas free-of-charge for Ukrainian citizens living up to 50 kilometres from the 98-kilometre-long border, Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda told his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, on a visit to Kiev on June 21.

The measure should become a reality within a few months, and the visas will have an expiration date of up to five years, the news wire TASR reported.

Dzurinda expressed Slovakia's willingness to go as far as possible in this regard, but said he would welcome the Ukraine’s approval of the new bilateral agreement on the mutual return of migrants.

Slovakia introduced mandatory visas for Ukrainians in 2000 in accordance with European Union directives. However, the Ukraine's other EU neighbours - Poland and Hungary - grant free visas to its citizens.

For now, Slovakia has ruled out the possibility of free visas for all, with the exception of people having relatives in Slovakia and certain occupations.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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