Ukraine foreign ministry has divided the country’s journalists into 2 categories: those who are subject to simplified travel procedure and those who are not, according to ZIK.Thus, only members of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and several other unions specified by the FM can apply for free Schengen visas and simplified visa-issuance procedure, Radio Deutsche Welle reports.

According to DW, the issuance of Schengen visas to Ukrainian journalists remains complex and not free, as confirmed by Ukrainian journalists who had recently applied for visas at the German embassy in Kyiv. Embassy staff has unofficially acknowledged that in January Ukraine FM and EU countries approved an appendix to the Simplified Travel Agreement according to which the agreement covers only those journalists who are members of the NUJU.

Chief of FM press service Vasyl Kyrylych said, speaking to DW, that besides NUJU, there are five or even more institutions which can confirm journalist status of visa applicants. However, most of Ukraine journalists do not belong to any professional unions and will have to pay 35 euro for their visas.

Kyrylych has denied lack of effort on the part of the FM to defend the interests of Ukrainians. “Proposals on the list of institutions that confirm journalist status were made by the State Committee for TV and Radio Broadcasting and NGOs,” Kyrylych stressed.