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Ukraine to close border checkpoints under threat of takeover

May 16, 2014, 21:07 UTC+3 KIEV
Transport and people could be barred from passing through these checkpoints and that would lead to certain inconveniences, primarily for residents of the border areas
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© EPA/SERGEY KOZLOV

KIEV, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s State Border Service is set to close border-crossing checkpoints at the border with Russia if attempts to seize or block them are undertaken, spokesperson for the border agency Sergei Astakhov told a briefing on Friday.

Transport and people could be barred from passing through these checkpoints and that would lead to certain inconveniences, primarily for residents of the border areas, Astakhov said underscoring that any violations of the Ukrainian border “would draw a swift and toughest possible response” from the State Service.

Earlier on Friday, Astakhov said that Ukraine’s State Border Service have banned about 20,000 Russians to enter the country in the past two and a half months, since March 6.

May 8, the Ukrainian parliament has registered a bill banning entry to Ukraine for certain Russian citizens.

The document was initiated by off-faction lawmaker Viktor Baloga. The bill has been referred to relevant committees. The text of the bill is not yet available.

Meanwhile, the United Center Party, of which Baloga is the leader, said that the bill provides for an entry ban for Russian lawmakers. “The document recommends the Security Service of Ukraine not to allow lawmakers from Russia’s Federation Council and State Duma, who voted in favor of allowing the Russian president to use the Russian army in Ukraine’s territory and approved Crimea’s accession Russia, to enter our state,” the party said in a release.

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