Saturday, July 30, 2005

Reaching out

While most of the recent trend has been toward more stringent immigration requirements, the Ukraine is encouraging a wide group of people to visit:
Ukraine said it was scrapping visas for Canadians from August 1 and extending visa-free travel for travelers from the European Union as part of President Viktor Yushchenko's plan to move closer to the West.

A presidential decree posted on his Website said visas would no longer be required for Canadian visitors coming into Ukraine for less than 90 days.

Another decree on the same site said visa-free travel for citizens of the EU countries and Switzerland would be extended beyond the initial deadline of Sept. 1.

The effect of the earlier EU pilot project was to double EU tourism, for obvious reasons.

While we should try to coordinate with the U.S. to the greatest degree possible and preserve security at our borders, Canada should also do everything possible to reciprocate the Ukraine's actions toward a free flow of people, and to encourage similar measures worldwide. In the long term, any threat posed by the particular people travelling will be more than outweighed by the erosion of ethnocentrism.

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