Ukraine's Vice-Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv has thanked Lithuania for supporting Ukraine and "accepting it to the European family."
Stepanas Kubivas
© Reuters / Scanpix

Kubiv arrived in Vilnius on Sunday afternoon with an ordinary biometric passport, not his diplomatic passport, as the ordinary document allows Ukrainian citizens to enter countries of the European Union (EU) without any visas since Sunday. In his words, the border checking procedures at the Vilnius airport took him a few minutes without any obstacles.

"To me and the rest of the Ukrainian nation, the visa-free travels mean coming home. The mean that we are welcome (…), they mean an opportunity for the people to live by their European values. This creates new possibilities for people and businesses, it completes the Soviet story and gives start to a common European, Ukrainian, Lithuanian story," the Ukrainian deputy PM told journalists.

On the trip to Vilnius, Kubiv was accompanied by Ukraine's Culture Minister Yevhen Nyschuk and a few dozen of Ukrainian citizens.

Enforced on Sunday, the visa-free travels enable citizens of Ukraine to spend up to 90 days in all of the European Union, except for Ireland and Great Britain, as well as give access to Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The visa-free travels apply to holders of biometric passports, including the Ukrainian citizens living in Crimea annexed by Russia and eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia-supported separatists.

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