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Ukraine terminates deal with Russia on local border traffic

March 16, 2015, 8:24 UTC+3 KIEV
Over 100 border-crossing points will be closed
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© Konstantin Cherginsky/TASS

KIEV, March 16. /TASS/. The decision made by the Ukrainian government unilaterally March 4 to terminate the deal with Russia on local border movement takes effect Monday.

It means that citizens of the Russian Federation living in regions close to Ukraine’s border will from today no longer be allowed to enter Ukraine on Russian internal documents. They will be allowed to enter the country only via international and interstate border-crossing points and solely on international passports.

Over 100 border-crossing points will be closed, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevgeny Perebeinos said.

Ukrainian border officials earlier said that from March 1, the general rule for Russians was that they may only enter Ukraine on international passports, while earlier, it had been possible to do so on Russian internal passports. However, he said, the norm had previously not been applied to residents of border regions.

But from March 16, the new rules will be applied to everyone, border officials said. Ukraine's State Border Service cited security concerns as the reason for the move.

For Ukrainian nationals, the procedure of crossing the border remains as it was because Russia has not restricted the movement of Ukrainians.

The chairman of the international affairs committee of the upper house of Russia’s parliament, Konstantin Kosachyov, condemned Kiev’s step as "one aimed against nationals of Ukraine, who are still mainly oriented to Russia, contacts with Russians.".

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