Disinfo: Visa liberalisation for Ukraine “bites the dust”


Visa liberalisation for Ukraine “bites the dust”. One of the most important achievements of the “Ukrainian Maidan”, which ex-President Petro Poroshenko was so proud of, visa-free visits to the EU countries were cancelled indefinitely due to the coronavirus epidemic. However, even after opening the borders, “visa-free” travel will not return in its previous form, or rather, only the name will remain from it. It is no secret that Ukrainians massively used the opportunity to travel to the EU for illegal work. From 2021, the European Union is introducing an electronic system to comply with the rules of the visa-free regime, which will be impossible to deceive. It will be possible to use “visa-free” only for tourist purposes, or to visit relatives, and for no more than 3 months.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives claiming that the EU and the West, in general, have abandoned Ukraine, and more specifically about the visa-free travel and ETIAS system. The introduction of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is not only dealing with Ukraine. It will affect citizens from all countries which do not need entry visas to the EU. The European Commission is proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information on visa-exempt travellers prior to their arrival, in order to determine any irregular migration, security or public health risks associated with them. The proposal follows similar models already existing in the USA, Canada and Australia, among others. ETIAS formally entered into force in October 2018, but will not become operational before 2021. See previous disinformation case alleging that the European Council complicates the visa-free regime for Ukraine.


  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Abandoned Ukraine, Visa liberalisation, Petro Poroshenko, AA/DCFTA


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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