Kiska Expresses Support for Ukraine in Its EU Integration Process

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Slovak President Andrej Kiska (left) congratulating his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on the visa liberalisation for Ukraine (photo by TASR)

Vysne Nemecke/Uzhgorod, June 11 (TASR) – Slovakia is supporting Ukraine in its attempts to join the EU, stated Slovak President Andrej Kiska in his speech at the border crossing of Vysne Nemecke (Kosice region)-Uzhhorod (Ukraine) while meeting his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Sunday.

Kiska was speaking on the occasion of introducing the visa-free regime between the EU and Ukraine that came into force on Sunday.

The Slovak head of state said that the visa liberalisation is a great thing not only for Ukraine, but also for the EU and Slovakia.

“A lot of effort and courage is behind this achievement. Ukraine has met its promises and the same has been done on the part of the EU. And that’s good, as promises should be kept,” said Kiska urging Ukrainians not to stop in their reform processes.

“Slovakia will be always standing next to you. Slovakia as a country as well as Slovak politicians, we’ll always do everything to help you, to advise you, but in the first place to be the greatest supporter of that direction you have chosen to follow … at the heart of our democratic Europe,” he said.

Poroshenko in this speech stated that this day will certainty be deemed as a landmark in the history of Ukraine, the day when the country “saw the final exit from the Russian Empire and the return to the family of European nations”. He also thanked Kiska for his unconditional support for the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

“I’m convinced that along with our western neighbours and with their support, Ukraine will be able to fulfil its European dream and the reform process as soon as possible,” added Poroshenko.

The EU-member states approved Ukraine’s request for visa-free travel last month in Strasbourg. This means that Ukrainians holding biometric passports can travel to the Schengen zone without a visa for short stays (90 days). The visa liberalisation doesn’t give Ukrainians right to work within the EU, however.