Ukraine to demand introduction of transition period for making foreign passports to travel to Russia - MFA

If Russia insists that Ukrainians cross the border only on availability of foreign passports, Ukraine will demand introduction of a special transition period so that citizens could make those passports.

Director of the Media Liaison Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Ukraine Yevhen Perebyinis has said about this.

“Our position is that a transfer to the entry regime exclusively by foreign passports requires a certain transition period, which would enable citizens, who travel to Russia, make foreign passports,” the official said.

According to him, the MFA keeps to a position that the existing border crossing regime with the Russian Federation, based on the agreement of 1997, fully meets the current state of relations between Ukraine and Russia and citizens' traveling activity. The diplomat noted that only last year, 4 million Russians have crossed the border with Ukraine and approximately the same number of Ukrainians has traveled to the Russian Federation.

As Perebyinis stressed, introduction of a new border crossing system is an initiative of the Russian side. “Indeed, we had such an appeal. Working negotiations were held, where, actually, this initiative has been discussed,” he noted. At the same time, as the diplomat added, no concrete decisions were taken during the negotiations. “There was only one round of negotiations. However, if the Russian side further insists, naturally, we will hold the negotiations,” he said.

To remind, the Russian side have repeatedly said about the need of the entry regime to its territory exclusively by foreign passports. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has said on Wednesday that Ukraine and Russia are working at the level of Foreign Ministries on the issue of such border crossing. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lаvrov had also said that it is necessary to travel abroad by foreign rather than domestic passports.

Adapted from Ukrinform