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Yatsenyuk: Ukraine will not hurry with decision on visa regime with Russia

March 20, 2014, 15:44 UTC+3 KIEV

Traveling between the two countries has always been visa-free since 1991

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Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

© ITAR-TASS/Mazim Nikitin

KIEV, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine should not hurry with introducing visa regime with Russia, and this move must be mature, Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Thursday.

Ukraine’s acting Secretary of the Council for National Security and Defense Andriy Parubiy announced on Wednesday that the council decided at its session to introduce travel visas for Russian nationals.

“We need to measure thrice and cut once,” Yatsenyuk said adding that Russia already raised this issue on many occasions and such measure on behalf of Ukraine would “hardly be effective in terms of influence on the Russian Federation”.

“This issue is in a very important humanitarian dimension for Ukraine, as many Ukrainian citizens are interested in preserving the visa-free regime.” He said. “These are primarily people from eastern and southern parts of the country, as they work in Russia and have relatives on the other side of the border.”

Traveling between the two countries has always been visa-free since 1991 when Ukraine declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

Yatsenyuk, who is currently in Brussels to attend a session of the Council of Europe, said that due to his current visit he had not enough time to voice his arguments on the visa regime issue at Wednesday’s session of the Council for National Security and Defense.

He said that he intended to discuss this issue with interim President Oleksandr Turchynov upon his return to Kiev.

Speaking after yesterday’s session of the council, Parubiy said in particular that “the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has received an instruction to introduce travel visas for citizens of the Russian Federation.”

Speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergei Naryshkin blasted on Wednesday Parubiy’s announcement on the introduction of visa regime, saying that “obviously Ukraine’s leadership cares about different things, but never about people”.

Visa regulations with Russia will give Ukraine, except stronger protests and rallies in its eastern and southern regions and escalation of tensions inside the country, says Gennady Moskal, a parliamentarian from Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party.

“What will visa regulations with Russia give us? They will give us nothing but broader protests in Ukraine’s east and south,” he told reporters. 


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