Ukraine hopes to initiate visa liberalisation with Australia after it manages to secure a similar privilege with the European Union.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said on Sunday he was confident about the EU’s approval for visa liberalisation. "I have no doubts that in 2016 Ukrainian will be granted the right of visa free travel to the European Union," Russian News Agency TASS quoted Poroshenko as telling the Inter TV channel. Ukraine’s Visa-free travel with the EU may “promote easier dialogue on visa liberalisation with such countries as Australia, Canada and the United States," Poroshenko added.

"The signing of a visa-free agreement with the Schengen zone countries opens up new possibilities for us in terms of the so called white Schengen list featuring 57 countries, from South Korea, Mexico and Uruguay, the Caribbean islands, which demand visas, to many other countries."

The Ukrainian president also believes that visa liberalisation will be an incentive “for the return of Ukrainian authorities to Donbas and one of the first elements of the strategy for the return of Crimea.”

“You either have freedom, democratic rules of life in Ukraine, freedom of investment, certain other benefits, or you stay in the occupied Crimea having no right to travel abroad, having restricted job opportunities with majority of enterprises closed, having restrictions in investment, agriculture and so on," Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko calls it a “powerful motivation for people,” and Ukraine must win the fight for Crimea while he believes things will be much easier in Donbas. He stressed that visa-free travel would only be possible for those who live in Ukraine-controlled territory, indicating that it would not be applicable for people in Russia-controlled territories like Crimea.

The annexation of Crimea, done by Russia in March 2014, is one of the most controversial issues in world politics that has antagonised many Western powers against Kremlin.

Contact the writer at, or let us know what you think below.