MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Russia believes the previous border crossing regime with Ukraine needs to be preserved despite the latest Kiev’s decisions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers on Tuesday announced that starting from March 1, Russian citizens will be required to carry foreign passports to cross into Ukraine rather than their national passports. The relevant decree was signed by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Tuesday.
The ministry said Kiev’s move is regrettable as it will hamper the contacts between millions of citizens of the two countries, including among relatives, as well as near-border ties.
"On the contrary, we believe it is important to preserve the previous border crossing regime due to humanitarian reasons," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The Ukrainian side has apparently decided to abandon a convenient and liberal regime of trips of Russian citizens to Ukraine," it said, reminding that the regime was envisaged by the 1997 agreement between the two countries on visa-free trips and a 2004 protocol on amendments to the agreement.