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Kiev denies entry to foreigners who visit Crimea not through Ukrainian border checkpoints

June 25, 2015, 17:50 UTC+3 KIEV

Foreign nationals that entered the territory of Crimea through non-official border checkpoints and then try to go through official ones are considered to have violated Ukraine’s state border

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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

KIEV, June 25. /TASS/. Foreign nationals are denied entry to Ukraine from the territory of Crimea if they entered the peninsula not through Ukrainian border checkpoints, Ukraine’s Border Control Service press secretary Oleg Slobodyan told TASS on Thursday.

"Foreign nationals that entered the territory [of Crimea] through non-official border checkpoints [not through Ukrainian checkpoints] and then try to go through official border checkpoints are considered to have violated Ukraine’s state border and will most likely be denied crossing the Ukrainian border through official checkpoints," Slobodyan explained.

At the same time, "they will not have any problems if they entered Crimea and left Crimea by crossing [Ukraine’s] administrative border," he added.

The press secretary clarified that restrictions in entry to Ukraine will not affect residents of Crimea, including foreigners. "If they prove that they live on the territory of Crimea, they will be let through," Slobodyan noted. A registration mark in passport is considered sufficient proof of residence in Crimea, he added.

From 10 June 2015, foreign nationals and stateless persons are obliged to obtain a special permit to enter Crimea from the territory of Ukraine.

In mid-March last year, Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum. More than 82% of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96% backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia.

Results of the referendum were celebrated by many Crimeans but the vote was widely criticized by Western leaders and at the United Nations.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev transferred the Crimean region, along with Sevastopol, to Ukraine's jurisdiction as a gift.

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