( dpa ) - Amid problems reported since Poland's joining the Schengen Zone, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Arseni Jazenjuk, has called for measures to facilitate travel to Poland for Ukrainian citizens, Polish news agency PAP reported Thursday.
According to PAP, Jazenjuk asked his Polish counterpart Bronislav Komorovski in a letter to speed up work on an agreement over border traffic with Poland.
The agreement would enable the inhabitants of the border region to travel into the neighbouring country without a visa.
Cross-border cooperation was one of the most important elements of Ukrainian-Polish dialogue, Jazenjuk wrote.
Ukraine has already signed similar agreements with Hungary and Slovakia.
Since Poland joined the Schengen Zone on December 21, Ukrainians have had to pay 35 euros (51 dollars) for a visa to visit the neighbouring country, while travel had previously been free.
Poland now also asks potential travellers for a proof of their financial solvency.
The travel restrictions affect in particular residents of the border region, for many of whom the alcohol and cigarette trade on the Polish side had been a main source of income.
During the past few weeks there have been repeated protests at the border, with several hundred people blocking the Krakowiec/Korczowa border crossing.
The block was lifted on Wednesday evening until February 1.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski is due to visit Kiev at the end of January to discuss the travel rules, while Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has scheduled his first official visit to the country at the beginning of February.
Poland is considered Ukraine's patron in the country's efforts to move closer to the European Union and NATO.