Ukraine cancels visa requirement for Australia, New Zealand and some Arab states

In June, Zelenskiy said Ukraine was considering canceling its visa requirement for tourists from several countries. (File/AFP)
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Updated 22 July 2020

Ukraine cancels visa requirement for Australia, New Zealand and some Arab states

  • Zelenskiy said Ukraine was considering canceling its visa requirement for tourists from several countries in June
  • The new visa-free regime will apply if the tourist’s stay in Ukraine does not exceed 90 days

KYIV: Tourists from Australia, New Zealand and several Arab states will no longer need a visa to visit Ukraine from Aug. 1, according to a decree signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and published on his website.
In June, Zelenskiy said Ukraine was considering canceling its visa requirement for tourists from several countries, including China, in order to attract more visitors once lockdowns imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are eased.
The new visa-free regime will apply if the tourist’s stay in Ukraine does not exceed 90 days.
Last year, Ukraine introduced electronic visas for citizens of 52 countries, including China and Australia. A single 30-day visa costs $85. European Union citizens can enter for short trips without a visa.


NATO says Greece and Turkey cancel military exercises

Updated 23 October 2020

NATO says Greece and Turkey cancel military exercises

  • “This is a very welcome step,” Stoltenberg said after a videoconference of NATO defense ministers
  • Turkey has deployed a gas exploration vessel under military escort into Greek waters

BRUSSELS: Turkey and Greece have agreed to cancel rival military exercises that were to have been held next week on their respective national days, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.
The neighbors, while NATO members, are at loggerheads over energy drilling and maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean and the alliance has set up a hotline to head off accidental clashes.
“This is a very welcome step,” Stoltenberg said after a videoconference of NATO defense ministers, including Greece’s Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Turkey’s Hulusi Akar.
“These are steps in the right direction, and it helps to reduce the risks for instance and accidents.”
Greece had been expected to conduct exercises on Wednesday October 28, its Oxi Day holiday, and Turkey on Thursday, celebrated there as Republic Day.
Turkey has deployed the Oruc Reis, a gas exploration vessel under military escort into Greek waters off the island of Kastellorizo, and Greek vessels are nearby.
Addressing a news conference after two days of talks on a variety of topics, Stoltenberg confirmed he had raised the situation with the Greek and Turkish ministers.
“I will say that we had a good and constructive talks and allies expressed a strong support for the NATO de-confliction mechanism,” Stoltenberg said.
“I welcome now the fact that we have been able to see some concrete steps in that direction with the cancelation of the two exercises.”
French Defense Minister Florence Parly also hailed the decisions to cancel the military exercises, stressing the need to “respect international law and restore stability in the region.”
Stoltenberg also welcomed Germany’s diplomatic mediation in the underlying dispute.
On Thursday, he had warned that — while NATO could help keep the rival militaries apart — it would be down to Ankara and Athens to open a dialogue to resolve their long-standing differences.