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Ukraine bans entry for 1,500 foreigners over visits to Crimea

Since the beginning of 2018, more than 30 people had been banned from crossing into Ukraine

KIEV, January 13. /TASS/. Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service barred nearly 1,500 foreigners from entering the country in 2017 claiming that by crossing into Crimea they had breached the country’s legislation, the service’s press service said on Saturday.

"Nearly 1,500 foreign citizens are banned from entering Ukraine due to visits to the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service said, adding that among them were "more than a hundred of performing artists and culture dignitaries."

Since the beginning of 2018, more than 30 people had been banned from crossing into Ukraine, according to the border guard service.

"For example, one of the violators, a Russian female national, was stopped at Kiev Airport yesterday. She was planning to arrive in Ukraine flying from Minsk," the press service said.

As a result, the Russian woman was denied entry to Ukraine for three years and she was forced to take a return flight to Minsk.

"In addition, up to now over 810 people, who had possibly stayed in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, have been spotted by monitoring," border guards said.

Under Ukraine’s legislation, foreigners are allowed to cross into Crimea through checkpoints located in the Ukrainian Kherson region.

On 16 March 2014, more than 82% of Crimea’s electorate took part in the referendum, when 96.77% in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% in the Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia. On March 18, President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Russia’s Federal Assembly (parliament) approved the document on March 21.

Ukraine refused to recognize the referendum was legitimate. In July 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Crimea and Russia and have repeatedly extended and expanded them.