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MOSCOW, April 25 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia does not plan to impose sanctions in response to the Ukrainian authorities’ decision to restrict entry to the country for Russian males aged 16-60, a senior Russian lawmaker from the lower house of parliament said.
“Russia will by no means impose sanctions in response to Ukraine’s gender- and age-based entry ban,” Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and ties with compatriots, told journalists on Thursday.
“Russia is not a medieval state. We will not repeat stupid and odious steps of short-sighted Ukrainian politicians that are aimed exclusively against the interests of their nationals,” Slutsky said.
The State Duma CIS affairs committee on Thursday discussed the situation in Ukraine at a closed meeting with participation of Russian Foreign Ministry representatives.
On April 17, Ukraine’s State Border Service notified carriers of restrictions on the entry of Russian males and Ukrainians registered in Crimea - a former Ukrainian region that recently joined Russia - aged 16-60, as well as of tightened border control for females aged 20-35.
Ukraine is in turmoil after a coup occurred in the country two months ago and new people were brought to power amid riots, whose legitimacy Moscow does not recognize.
The crisis deteriorated when Crimea, where most residents are Russians, reunified with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which it overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
After Crimea’s accession to Russia, protests against the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions.
Kiev is conducting an antiterrorism operation in Ukraine’s eastern regions. The operation is apparently designed to crush pro-federalization protests. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said law enforcers and soldiers killed five protesters in a clash in the city of Slavyansk on Thursday.