Israel is reconsidering the rationality of a mutual renunciation of travel visas with Ukraine in the wake of the economic crisis, Israeli Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov told a news briefing in Jerusalem Tuesday, Itar-Tass reported.
Although the abolition of travel visas for tourists between Israel and Russia has proved efficacious in the conditions of the crisis, the situation with Ukraine is somewhat different.
“The abolition of travel visas for Russian tourists proved efficacious, since that country has felt a much smaller damage from the crisis than other European countries and, by and large, the curve of the demand for tourism did not suffer as much as in Ukraine where the middle class was impoverished,” Misezhnkov said.
“That’s one of the reasons why the Israeli Foreign Ministry is currently reviewing the rationality of visa-free traveling for the Ukrainians,” he said. “As for Russia, the situation is different.”
An agreement on visa-free mutual trips by Russian and Israeli tourists went into effect in September 2008.
Soon after that, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Ukraine would be the next country in the post-Soviet space it would hold talks with on the abolition of visas.