Friday, July 01, 2005

No visas for US citizens?

It was reported on Radio Era this morning that citizens of the US will no longer be required to get a visa for entry into Ukraine. They can stay for 90 days visa-free.

The Ukraine Embassy website still says that visas are required but that may mean that this is new and hasn't had time to trickle down through the bureaucracy yet.

The US Embassy here has reciprocated by lowering the fees for visas to the US. Not much but it is something.

Some may think this benefits Americans only. This is shortsighted. I have always wondered why the Ukrainian government would think that the fees generated by the visa requirement which make it difficult for people to come in to sightsee and vacation are worth more than the money that tourists would leave here. The money tourists leave creates jobs. Payments to the government do not.

Tourism is a plus for everyone here. Let them come in and spend. Its money that will help the economy.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: The Moscow Times says the same thing. Of course this will be good for attracting investment too. But tourism is a more immediate benefit.

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