The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) decided not to introduce a new visa policy with Russia. This was announced in the Verkhovna Rada by Pavlo Klimkin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
“The plan for the future is the decision approved by the NSDC to create an integrated system. Not a separate step, as some wanted, but a system that provides for the collecting of biometric data from foreigners and stateless persons, effective control of movement through Ukraine, and other activities. This system will be introduced gradually, stage by stage,” he said in response to a question about when the new visa policy with Russia would be introduced.
According to him, the introduction of visas will not create the necessary effect and will make problems for Ukrainian citizens in the annexed Crimea.
“This will create significant problems as Russia will likely take advantage of this to further provocations and a conscious policy to restrict citizens of Ukraine who live in the occupied Crimea to move to Ukraine,” he said.
Klimkin said that the NSDC’s decision was based on a detailed analysis and has the support of western partners.
The decision to introduce a new visa policy was adopted by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine in March 2014. The authorities did not dare to take this step then. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that many Ukrainians are interested in preserving the visa-free regime, primarily in the east and south of Ukraine, as they travel to Russia for work and have family on the other side of the border.
As a result, it was decided to strengthen the control at the border with the Russian Federation.
Andriy Parubiy, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, along with other deputies presented the resolution on the termination of the visa-free regime agreement between Ukraine and Russia in February 2016.