Russians visiting Crimea will have to undergo medical testing at their own expense

The head of annexed Crimea Sergey Aksyonov said that residents of other regions of Russia, coming to the peninsula without a specific purpose, will be placed "under medical observation at their own expense".

Aksyonov signed the decree on these measures on May 24, TASS reports.

"Citizens from other Russian region who come to Crimea without a specific purpose, will undergo medical observation at their own expense," Aksyonov said at a meeting of the operational center for COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, if the visitor is unable to pay for testing, the claims will be sent to the court to recover the entire amount. Such a measure is necessary, as each visitor carries an additional burden on the health system of the region.

"We are waiting for all of you during the tourist season, but, do not create a problem for us if you have nothing else to do," the head of Crimea said.

In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.

On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.

International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

  Crimea, Russia, Aksyonov