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Kiev hits European MPs with five-year Ukraine entry ban for visiting Crimea

March 20, 14:05 UTC+3

Meanwhile, the European parliamentarians who have arrived in Crimea have said they do not fear Kiev’s possible sanctions and are not going to come to Ukraine

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Security Service has decided to slap sanctions on several European MPs who had  arrived in Crimea on March 19 for a three-day visit, Security Council Spokeswoman Yelena Gitlyanskaya said on Monday.

"Four citizens of Serbia and one citizen of the Czech Republic are illegally staying on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The Ukrainian Security Council has decided to ban them entry into Ukraine for five years," the spokeswoman said on her Facebook page.

MPs of several countries (the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Montenegro), and also Kyrgyzstan and Brazil arrived on Sunday in Crimea. They are holding meetings on Monday with the Crimean authorities and the general public. The politicians’ visit has been organized by the A Just Russia Party.

Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Alexander Turchinov stated on March 19 that on the Council’s instruction Ukraine’s Security Council will draw up a list of politicians from the EU and other countries in order to impose sanctions against them for visiting Crimea.

According to Turchinov, "in case their stay in Crimea is confirmed, criminal cases must be opened in compliance with the effective legislation."

Meanwhile, the European parliamentarians who have arrived in Crimea have said they do not fear Kiev’s possible sanctions and are not going to come to Ukraine.

After a coup d’etat in Kiev in February 2014, the authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol decided to hold a referendum on reunification with Russia.

The referendum, which took place on March 16, 2014, was attended by over 80% of the Black Sea peninsula’s eligible voters. As many as 96.7% of Crimean residents and 95.6% of Sevastopol residents voted for reuniting with Russia.

On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on reintegrating the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into Russia and on March 21 the document was ratified by both houses of Russia’s parliament. In spite the referendum’s legitimate results, Kiev has refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

 

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