Kyiv considers disallowing Ukrainian government officials from traveling to Russia

Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine proposed a draft bill which proposes the introduction of a temporary restriction on Ukrainians travelling to Russia, as published on the parliament's website.

"Departure from Ukraine into the aggressor state is temporarily restricted to citizens who are civil servants (except for employees of diplomatic services, or in cases of departure with the purpose of urgent medical assistance or participation in the burial of a close relative)," the document says.

As the parliamentarians explain, Russians can put pressure on Ukrainian citizens through bribery, blackmail, or recruitment. In their opinion, Ukrainians can be kidnapped, tortured, deprived of their liberty and "even their lives," and in such cases Ukraine "will not be able to protect their rights."

The draft bill was put forward by Petro Poroshenko Bloc Deputies, Andriy Nemyrivsky and Andriy Shynkovych, as well as by a non-factional Deputy, Andriy Denysenko.

According to the explanatory note, Ukraine remains an object of Russia’s "military aggression." Moscow implements this aggression by "supporting large-scale terrorist attacks." According to the deputies, Russia has been violating the norms of international law since 2014.

"Despite diplomatic efforts in Geneva, Normandy, and other formats, Russia still does not fulfill its obligations," the explanation says.

In early September, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak, proposed to legislatively prohibit Ukrainian deputies, politicians, and public figures from visiting Russia. According to him, this will strengthen the effect of Petro Poroshenko’s order on including Russia on the list of "migration-risky" countries. Beginning in 2018, citizens of the countries on this list will have to undergo a three-stage biometric verification to enter Ukraine.

An official document in which Russia is recognized as an "aggressor country" was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on October 6th.

  Ukraine, Russia