Citing “unprecedented threats to the national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced today that Kyiv will abolish visa-free travel with Russia and impose visa requirements on all Russian citizens entering the country.
“Starting from July 1, 2022, Ukraine will impose a visa regime for … Russian citizens,” the president announced.
In his Telegram channel, Zelensky wrote that there is a need to terminate the 1997 deal between Russia and Ukraine facilitating visa-free travel for the citizens of the two nations.
According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, the country’s government has already approved the presidential proposal, that he described as a complete break-up between the two neighboring states.
“We are severing all ties with Russia,” the prime minister added.
The decision to abolish visa-free travel comes amid the ongoing Russia’s unprovoked and brutal war of aggression it wages against Ukraine.
Ukraine has previously banned male Russian citizens from entering its territory, first time after Russia’s occupation and annexation of Ukrainian Crimea in 2014. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko did it again in 2018, citing a threat, that private armies forming on Ukrainian territory. However, Ukraine has never gone so far as to terminate the 1997 agreement.
Moscow regime has not commented on Kiev’s decision so far.