Starting from March, Russian citizens are no more allowed to enter Ukraine on national passports as has been the case since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, TASS announced.
Under the new rules, announced by Kiev on February 3, Russians who want to visit their relatives and friends or just come to the neighboring country have to show their foreign passports when crossing the border.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the move comes as Ukraine needs to "significantly tighten border control and ensure the interests of Ukraine’s national security."
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko also explained the measure by security concerns. "This is the full right of a sovereign state. The tightening of the regime comes mainly due to concerns about Ukraine’s security," he said.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Yevgeny Perebeynis said it would be easier to control the Russians’ entry to Ukraine on foreign passports. National passports do not allow a thorough control of the duration of stay in Ukraine, and foreign passports give such a possibility," he said.
If a person violates the regime of stay in Ukraine, he or she will be no more allowed into the country, he said.
Meanwhile, Kiev is not considering plans of introducing visas for Russians, Perebeynos added. But "never say never" he said, adding "yet there are no conditions that demand the introduction of the visa regime."