Over 550,000 Ukrainians enjoy visa-free trips to EU

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Kiev, June 12 (IANS) Some 555,000 Ukrainians travelled without a visa to the European Union (EU) since the introduction of the visa-free mechanism on June 11 last year, the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) of Ukraine said on Monday.

About 64 percent of Ukrainians used ground transport for their visa-free trips to the EU, while the rest travelled by air, the SBGS said in a statement.

According to the SBGS’s spokesman Oleg Slobodyan, over the past year, Ukrainians visited the EU member states 20 million times, up 13 percent from a year ago.

The visa-free mechanism allows Ukrainian biometric passport holders to stay in the EU for 90 days without a visa in any 180-day period, Xinhua reported.

The mechanism applies to all EU countries, except Ireland and the UK. Ukrainians can also enter the non-EU countries — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland without a visa.

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