Following the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia Putin, Russians are to enter Ukraine using visas from July, President Zelensky announced.
Newsonline reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Friday that Kyiv intends to introduce visas for Russians from July 1.
“Ukraine is introducing a visa regime for citizens of the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said on his Telegram account.
President Zelensky who for four months has been leading Ukrain armed forces to wade off Putin’s invasion said the visa requirement for all Russians intending to enter Ukraine would take effect on July 1, 2022.
The resolutions came after President Zelensky’s meeting with his cabinet on Friday.
Newsonline had reported that the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine in the early hours of February 24, 2022.
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Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said the move was being taken because of Russia’s invasion that began on February 24 and to strengthen Ukraine’s national security.
“Due to the full-scale war launched by the Russian Federation, we need to strengthen the control over the entry of Russian nationals into our territory. Security is a priority.”
The two neighbours share a border stretching almost 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) and share extensive family links.
The policy of visas for Russian citizens will end visa-free travel for Russians that began when Ukraine became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991.
In 2013, 10.8 million Russians visited Ukraine but a year later, that figure went down to 2.5 million.
Between 2015 and 2019, it further dropped down to some 1.5 million a year, Andrey Demchenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s border guards, told AFP.
In 2020 and 2021 as the Covid pandemic took hold, the number of Russian travellers did not exceed 500,000 a year, he said.
Newsonline reports that historic ties between the two nations, Russia and Ukraine have been affected since Putin’s invasion. The visa policy will also be another blow to historic ties between the two nations that most of their parts share ancestry.