Comment by the Information and Press Department on Kiev's plans to change the rules of entry to Ukraine for Russian citizens
On July 10, 2017, according to the Ukrainian media, Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council proposed new border crossing formalities for foreigners – by biometric passports. Special rules of entry and stay in the country are allegedly being envisaged for Russian citizens. The case in point is a certain electronic system for preliminary registration and the submission to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry of additional information about a Russian citizen, the reason for his or her trip to Ukraine and which places in Ukraine he or she plans to visit. All these novelties have reportedly yet to be finalised and approved. We will be watching attentively as to what extent they will comply with the existing bilateral agreement on visa-free travel for citizens of Russia and Ukraine, which was signed on January 16, 1997.
Thus, Kiev is stubbornly following its vicious line towards severing contacts between millions of people in both countries. This policy is not surprising. For the current Kiev regime the very fact that Ukrainians have numerous relatives, friends and acquaintances in Russia is, evidently, a real threat. Considerable funds are being spent on fighting it - from the construction of Yatsenyuk's 'Great Wall' to banning Russian social networks.
By all appearances, Ukraine is ready to build a new 'iron curtain' for the sole purpose of preventing normal human and family communications between citizens of Russia and Ukraine. In this context, it is safe to mention delirious calls in the Verkhovna Rada to bar tours by Russian artists in Ukraine and Ukrainian artists in Russia.
At all times, culture and human contacts have been bridges for the establishment of relations both at a state and civil society level. Attempts by Ukraine to fence itself off with a new 'Berlin Wall' are utterly deplorable.