The Ukraine may lose an agreement with the European Union that would allow its citizens visa-free travel within member nations because of the Ukraine’s rejection of a law that would have banned GLBT discrimination. This is widely seen as yet another battleground over the Ukraine’s divided population that has one faction wanting closer ties to the West and another wanting to be closer to the extremely anti-GLBT Russia. Via PinkNews:
The Schengen zone aims to bolster free trade across Europe, with 26 countries permitting visa-free travel for citizens and abolishing the need for passports across European borders.
However, Schengen membership is conditional based on a number of factors – and the European Union has consistently maintained that Ukraine must legally ban discrimination against LGBT people before joining.
The plan for Ukraine to join suffered a setback this week, when its Parliament overwhelmingly voted to block the LGBT rights changes required.
Just 117 lawmakers voted for the changes, out of 450 in the Parliament