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Kiev bars 1,300 foreign citizens from entering Ukraine in 2017 due to Crimea visits

November 23, 13:48 UTC+3 KIEV

Ukrainian border service drew up more than 2,000 administrative protocols "for violating the procedure" of entering Crimea

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KIEV, November 23. /TASS/. Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service has blackballed more than 1,300 foreign nationals from visiting the country since the beginning of this year because of their visits to Crimea, its press service reported on Thursday.

"In connection with such violations [related to visiting Crimea - TASS], more than 1,300 decisions have been made on banning foreigners from entering Ukraine, including nearly 100 performing artists and cultural personalities," the press service said. In addition to that, the Ukrainian border service drew up more than 2,000 administrative protocols "for violating the procedure of entering the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and departure from it," the State Border Guard Service reports.

On March 11, 2014, the legislatures of Crimea and Sevastopol voted to declare on independence from Ukraine. A referendum was held on the peninsula five days later when the overwhelming majority of voters (96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol) supported Crimea’s reunification with Russia. A treaty on the accession of the new territorial entities to the Russian Federation was signed on March 18.

Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

Since then, Ukraine has repeatedly banned foreigners, including Russian citizens, from entering the country. One of the most famous incidents was Kiev’s decision to blacklist Russia’s Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering Ukraine for three years. The SBU, Ukraine’s spy agency, claimed that, by performing in Crimea in the summer of 2015, Samoilova violated the Ukrainian government’s decree obliging foreigners to receive permits to visit the Black Sea peninsula.

In addition to that, On May 16, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko put into effect the National Security and Defense Council’s decision on extending sanctions against foreign lawmakers for visiting Crimea. Among the sanctioned MPs were representatives from France, Greece, Israel, Spain, Italy, Serbia and other countries.

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