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EU puts brake on visa liberalization for now

European Union states held off agreeing to ease travel rules for Georgia on Wednesday, and Turkey, Ukraine and Kosovo should also expect more delays in visa waiving as the bloc turns more cautious amid immigration fears, EU delegation sources said, Reuters reports.

The EU is already making it easier to suspend visa-free travel before it grants such right to more states, most notably Turkey, whose help it needs to control immigration after some 1.3 million people reached Europe last year.

EU envoys in Brussels discussed a similar deal for Georgia again on Wednesday but there was no decision, with Germany and France among countries opposed, diplomats said.

“We don’t want to stop the whole process. We just want to be more cautious,” said a diplomat from one EU state that on Wednesday opposed granting visa-free travel to Georgia.

They may return to the issue next week, before holding their first discussion on the more controversial case of Ukraine. More technical-level meetings on Ukraine are due only on June 14.

Source: Vestnik Kavkaza

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