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Moscow may offer asymmetric response if Ukraine introduces visas — lawmaker

October 16, 2014, 12:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Even if Russia decides to introduce visas too, for many categories of citizens the regime will be rather lax, however complicated the task of effecting such a regime might be, says Leonid Slutsky
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Leonid Slutsky

Leonid Slutsky

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Karpov

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Russia may offer an asymmetric response if Ukraine decides to introduce visas for Russians, the chairman of the State Duma’s committee for the CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and diaspora relations, Leonid Slutsky, said about a relevant statement by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

“If Kiev introduces visas, naturally, our response will be asymmetric,” he said. At the same time Slutsky added that “no artificial barriers should be allowed to emerge between Russian and Ukrainian peoples.”

“Our citizens have many relatives and friends (in Ukraine). We have not yet curtailed cultural and humanitarian exchanges at all levels. For this reason, even if Russia decides to introduce visas too, for many categories of citizens the regime will be rather lax, however complicated the task of effecting such a regime might be. This is a fundamental position of ours,” Slutsky said.

Otherwise, he warned, “we may be dragged into the process of delimitation not in the political field alone, but in international affairs on the whole, which our ‘strategic friends’ in Washington have already been trying to do.”

“From the civilizational point of view and in terms of implementing the task of preserving the Russian world this is impermissible,” Slutsky said.

He remarked that the Kiev authorities’ declared intention to introduce visas in relations with Russia was consonant with the proposals for building a wall on the border, which the Kiev authorities have already called the European Bulwark.”

“All this causes still greater harm to relations between our countries and emphasizes the intention to do away with everything Russian. There is nothing constructive about this kind of approach, to our deep regret,” he concluded.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on the “24” television channel he saw no need for establishing a visa regime in relations with Russia at the moment, but at the same time did not rule out such a possibility altogether.

“I do not rule out the possibility of establishing a visa regime for Russians, but there is no need for it for the time being,” he said.

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