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Kiev pushing towards Russia’s restrictions on Ukrainian citizens’ trips

July 11, 2017, 2:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Response measures on the Russia side may embrace up to 4 million Ukrainians working in Russia

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MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Introduction of advance biometric registration rules for Russian citizens going to Ukraine is an act of ostentatious loutishness on the part of the Ukrainian authorities, Irina Yarovaya, a deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma told TASS on Monday.

"Not-quite-freedom, not-quite-visas, not-quite-law - that’s the way to describe Kiev’s new ideas, which don’t cause any surprise anymore," she said in a comment on a report by the secretary of the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine, Alexander Turchinov, who told a meeting of the council all the foreigners would be obliged pass biometric control while entering Ukraine.

He said the new regulations would apply particularly to the Russians as of January 1, 2018, as they would have to pass advance electronic registration before entering the country and the procedure for them would include fingerprints.

"To create contrived problems in violation of the existing inter-governmental agreement, they are conceiving quasi-visas," Yarovaya said. "The Ukrainian authorities impede their citizens’ communications with the Russians. It makes audaciously loutish steps, apparently wishing a mirror-like response on our part, which would mean restricts on trips for Ukrainian citizens."

"These milieus are striving to rupture human contacts and family bonds that link our peoples," she said.

In the meantime, Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the committee for defense and security in the upper house of Russian parliament told TASS on Monday that a proportionate response from Moscow would be considered, as Ukraine's decision to introduce advance registration of foreigners and especially Russians going to enter the country was tantamount, in essence, to the introduction of visas.

"The introduction of advance electronic registration for the Russians going to enter Ukraine or the so-called biometric control means, in essence, the introduction of visas for trips between the two countries and its labeling doesn't actually matter much," he said.

Response measures on the Russia side may embrace up to 4 million Ukrainians working in Russia.

"I don't rule out, actually, we'll have to ask some of them politely to leave and to explain to them simultaneously the only root-cause of their troubles is the incumbent regime in Kiev and Pyotr Poroshenko personally," he said, adding that Russia would be defending the interests of Russian citizens in the first place.

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