Ukraine`s parliament ratified on Tuesday agreements with the European Union on readmission and visa facilitation, both of which were signed by Kyiv and the 27-nation bloc last year, according to RIA Novosti.
Lawmakers in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada backed the two agreements with 226 and 413 votes in favor, respectively.
As the EU has already ratified the readmission agreement, the Ukrainian parliament`s endorsement means that it will now come into force, making it obligatory for the ex-Soviet republic to readmit its nationals found to be illegally staying in EU states.
In return, the EU has pledged to provide 30 million euros ($44 mln) to Ukraine this year to set up accommodation centers for readmitted migrants.
The EU introduced a facilitated visa regime for Ukrainians on January 1, 2008, without waiting for the Supreme Rada to ratify it. Under the new system, Ukrainians have fewer documents to submit to obtain a visa, while EU-member consulates are obliged to provide explanations for any visa refusals. Visas are to be granted free of charge to 12 categories of Ukrainian citizen.
According to official statistics, the majority of potential illegal migrants come to Ukraine from Russia. The two countries have yet to ratify a bilateral readmission agreement.