November 6, 2014 -
The Ukrainian government has announced it is procuring 600 terminals to issue biometric passports, to which they are allocating roughly $10 million (150 million Ukrainian Hryvnia), in an effort to rollout biometric international passports over the next two months.
Ukraine’s current leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said in a statement this week that the biometric passport system will be rolled out by the end of January. He said the previous enrollment system, which was overseen by the State Migration Service was too slow, necessitating an automated system involving biometric passport terminals in every district of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s previously announced plans to issue biometric passports have been sidelined by funding issues. Yet, two years after Ukraine’s then President Viktor Yanukovych signed a biometric passport bill into law, the announcement around biometric terminals is a sign that biometric passports could become a reality in the Eastern European nation.
One of the drivers for reasons for Ukraine’s adoption of biometric passports is its Visa Liberalization Action Plan, which, if approved by the EU, would allows Ukrainians to use biometric passports as an alternative to visas while traveling within the EU. The biometric features help to ensure border security within Europe.