Ukraine will ban Russian citizens from entering the country without a visa in July – National
Ukraine’s cabinet on Friday approved a resolution banning Russian citizens from entering Ukraine without a visa.
The move will likely be seen as symbolic given that the borders between Russia and Ukraine have remained closed since Moscow invaded its neighbor on Feb. 24 and Kyiv severed diplomatic ties with Moscow.
The visa requirement, which is due to come into force on July 1, nevertheless represents a significant departure from the ease of travel previously permitted.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on social media on Friday that the decision was prompted by « unprecedented threats to national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity » of Ukraine.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Russians did not need visas to enter the country. Many Russians have relatives across the border, while others travel regularly to visit the beaches and historic towns of southern Ukraine.
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Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his ministry had advocated for it to be harder for Russians to enter the country « from the start » of Russia’s war, which was about to start. its 17th week on Friday.
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“The time has come for such a decision. It is a thoughtful step that will protect the national security of our state,” Kuleba said in a statement.
He said it was « symbolic » that the Cabinet action coincided with the European Commission’s recommendation to give Ukraine a path to EU membership.
« The direction of our state’s movement is obvious, » Kuleba said.
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