On Tuesday Mr Burkhalter visited Swiss humanitarian projects to
improve healthcare capabilities and ensure water purification to
supply drinking water to some 4 million people on both sides of the
contact line separating the communities in Ukraine. He noted that
Switzerland had provided technical cooperation support to Ukraine for
the past 20 years and would continue to do so. Many important reforms
are already under way, but Ukraine must step up its democratisation,
decentralisation and anti-corruption efforts, said Mr Burkhalter. In
his view, contacts between Ukrainians living in the areas controlled
by the government and those living on the other side of the contact
line, i.e. in areas not under its control, should be encouraged.
Switzerland also expects progress in the political arena in order to
bring peace and reconciliation to the over 40 million inhabitants of
the country, of which the eastern part has been devastated by a
conflict that continues to claim lives.
At the close of his meeting with Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Mr Burkhalter signed two agreements negotiated with Ukraine by the Federal Department of Justice and Police aimed at strengthening cooperation in the field of migration. The first, a readmission agreement, simplifies regulations on the return to Ukraine of persons ordered to leave Switzerland.
The bilateral visa facilitation agreement, which was signed at the same time, lowers the threshold of proof required for justifying the purpose of the journey for certain categories of people. It also sets out simplified criteria for multiple-entry visa applications, reduces the processing time, and lowers visa costs. The agreement will come into effect after ratification by both parties but will only apply to holders of non-biometric Ukrainian passports.
This is because from 11 June 2017, Ukrainian citizens with biometric
passports will no longer need a visa for stays of up to 90 days within
a total period of 180 days in the Schengen area. The Federal Council
adopted on 2 June 2017 an amendment to the Ordinance on Entry and the
Granting of Visas, thereby adopting the regulation approved by the
European Council and the European Parliament which is a development of
the Schengen acquis.
Visas are still required for people seeking gainful employment.
+41 58 462 31 53
for information about signed agreements:
Martin Reichlin (DFJP/SEM)
+41 58 46 59350
+41 79 227 85 08
Address for enquiries:
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47