VISA REGIME

The Department of Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported that from June 15 to August 1, 56 new visa centers will be opened abroad, eight of them – in Russia.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs implemented a set of measures to increase the level of consular services for foreigners wishing to visit our country – in the period from June 15 to August 1, new Ukrainian visa centers will start working in different parts of the world, which will provide services to foreigners in the sphere of receiving applications for visas to enter Ukraine, “the department said on the official Facebook page of the social network.
In Russia, visa centers will be opened in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Samara, Kaliningrad, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.
“Quite a sad step. Ukraine, obviously, plans to set a visa regime. The idea itself requires a lot of money and has consequences for the Ukrainian side. If you enter the visa regime, many people will have problems with visiting Russia, there will be extra time and money costs. This is another step in the traditions of the current government, which does not contribute to the development of Ukraine, nor the restoration of relations with Russia. The activities of the Ukrainian leader-ship to destroy their state continues, “- says Ukrainian political scientist and economist Alexander Dudchak.
The introduction of the visa regime may not hit Russia’s citizens as much as the Ukrainians, because they go to work to the Russian Federation, and not vice versa – if the Russian Federation answers symmetrically. But for sure in Kiev they are not worried about it, there has long been an opinion that citizens working in Russia are potential traitors, and if they have difficulties crossing the Russian bor-der, it is even for the better.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavel Klimkin repeatedly stated that “the set of a visa regime with Russia is quite possible”. In Moscow, his statements were answered that “if necessary, the Kremlin is ready to set the mirror measures”.
More than half of Ukrainians are against the introduction of a visa regime with Russia. This is evidenced by the results of a poll conducted by the rating agency. Only less than 30% of Ukrainian citizens support the set of a visa regime with Russia, mostly residents of the western regions of the country who go to work to Poland, and not to Russia.
Recall that today the Russian Federation and Ukraine have a visa-free re-gime. However, Kiev unilaterally set from January 1, 2018 biometric control at the border for foreigners entering Ukraine, including Russian citizens. Now you can get to Ukraine on a biometric passport, passing fingerprints on the border. And after arriving to the country, Russians should register and report on all their movements across the territory of Ukraine.
“At first, biometrics, then the application that they will come to our terri-tory, and then – control in our territory … If these three stages do not work, then we need a visa regime,” declared in December 2017 the head Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavel Klimkin. The idea of the setting of visa regime with Russia was repeatedly voiced by the deputies of the Ukrainian parliament. So the visa centers are the next step to this. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry asserts that “visa centers in Russia will help in opening visas for foreigners and stateless persons living in the Russian Federation to enter the Ukrainian state.”
It is clear that only for these purposes eight visa centers in the largest cities of Russia are too many. It is also clear that the Ukrainian authorities are consistently building a “wall” on the border with Russia, being interested in breaking inter-human ties, including related ones. Undoubtedly, another reason for this was the World Cup, as thousands of Ukrainian fans, despite calls to boycott the “aggressor country”, went to the matches in Russia. With them, they bring memories, stories, photos, strikingly contrasting with the television picture. Therefore, Kiev does not fear a “mirror response” to the set of visas on the part of Russia: firstly, it will complicate the life of those working in the Russian Federation, which is obviously disloyal to the regime of Ukrainian citizens; second, it will reduce the flow of tourists several times. It is bad for people, but it is good for authorities.

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