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    Why EU May Soon 'Abandon Visa-Free Regime' With Ukraine

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    On Wednesday, EU authorities signed a document on amending the legislation of the EU to grant a visa-free regime to Ukrainians, according to a live broadcast from Strasbourg. In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Russian expert Evgeny Ben commented on the issue, saying that the move may lead to an uncontrolled influx of Ukrainian migrants to the EU.

    "Six months or one year later, a huge number of Ukrainians will come to the EU countries. They will strive for the states with lax control systems, like Spain, Portugal, Italy," the expert said.

    According to Ben, the majority of Ukrainians will go to Europe not on tourist trips, but rather to find a job, including on illegal labor markets.

    "They will try to settle down, working here and there. This is much more promising than being unemployed in Ukraine. It is clear that many of the newcomers will be ready to take up any jobs, including on illegal labor markets," the expert noted.

    In his opinion, the influx of Ukrainian migrants might become another burden for the EU.

    "The inflow can go out of control, and it can happen quiet quickly if the political crisis in Ukraine takes a new dimension. And in this case, of course, the EU, tired of Ukrainian migrants, will have to take some measures and might abandon the visa-free regime," the expert concluded.

    On Wednesday, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and Malta's Interior Minister Carmelo Abela, presiding at the Council of the European Union, signed a document on amending the bloc's legislation to grant a visa-free regime for Ukrainians, as broadcast from Strasbourg.

    The signed document will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and after 20 days following the publication, Ukrainians should be able to visit the 28-nation bloc without visas.

    Ukraine has been striving for integration with the European Union for years. The two sides launched a dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime in 2008 and the bloc provided Ukraine with a road map concerning the issue in 2010.

    At the same time, German authorities noted that "the country is not a candidate for EU membership" and that Ukraine's sanctions against Russian media outlets are not in line with European values.

    According to Russian expert Dmitry Zhuravlev, these words clearly define Ukraine's place among European countries.

    "On the one hand, they [German politicians] in this way reduce demands and claims to Ukraine, stressing that the country is not even a candidate for EU membership yet. On the other hand, they clearly define Ukraine's place: the main thesis is — better give up your hopes for it [EU membership]. But in general, I don't think that there will be any, for example, economic pressure on Ukraine, because after the introduction of a visa-free regime, any economic pressure will mean that more and more Ukrainian citizens will move to Europe," Zhuravlev told Radio Sputnik.

    On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko approved the decision of the NSDC to expand the list of sanctioned Russian individuals and legal entities. The expanded list includes 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities. In particular, Ukraine imposed sanctions on a number of Russian media outlets and social media, as well as IT companies.. The decree took effect Wednesday, May 17.

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