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MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Kiev’s plans to introduce advance biometric registration rules for Russian citizens going to Ukraine reveal its readiness to drop a new iron curtain and Moscow will keep a close eye on Ukraine’s ‘novelties,’ the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
Alexander Turchinov, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council said on Monday biometric control would be introduced as of January 1, 2018, for all foreigners crossing over into Ukraine and the measure would concern Russian citizens, in the first place.
"Notably, special entry and sojourn rules will be mandatory for Russian nationals," the Russian foreign ministry noted. "Thus, these rules provide for the use of an electronic system of advance registration and submitting to the Ukrainian foreign ministry additional data about a Russian citizen, purposes of his or her trip and movements across Ukraine. These novelties are yet to be specified and endorsed."
"We will watch closely this situation to see how they comply with the current bilateral agreement on visa-free trips for Russian and Ukrainian citizens of January 16, 1997," the ministry said.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Kiev stubbornly sticks to its course towards severing contacts among millions of the two countries’ citizens. "Such policy is of no surprise," the ministry said. "The current Kiev regime seems to see a real threat in Ukrainians having relatives and friends in Russia. Considerable funds are spent to repel this threat, from the construction of a ‘Yatsenyuk’s great wall’ to the ban of Russian social networks."
"It looks like Ukraine is ready to drop another iron curtain in a bid to prevent normal human contacts between Russians and Ukrainians," the ministry said, adding that the Verkhovna Rada’s (Ukrainian parliament) "crackpot initiatives" to ban guest performances of Russian performers in Ukraine and Ukrainian performers in Russia fit well into this policy.
"In all times, culture and relations between people have served as bridges to establish relations both at the level of state and at the level of civil society. Ukraine’s attempts to fence itself off by a new Berlin wall are regrettable," the ministry stressed.