The Turkish embassy to Russia has denied information from a number of Russian media outlets about a possible closure of the country’s borders to foreign tourists due to the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus.
“This information, which was published with reference to an interview with Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, is untrue. The minister did not make such statements during his speech,” the embassy told Interfax.
On Monday, a number of Russian media outlets reported the possible closure of Turkey’s borders to foreign tourists due to the spread of the Delta strain, a new variant of Covid-19, citing the Turkish minister of culture and tourism.
Meanwhile, as the minister said in an interview with CNN Turk, the improvement of the epidemic situation in the country depends first on the rate of vaccination. Ersoy believes that if citizens are actively vaccinated, then Turkey can quickly reach a complete rectification of the epidemiological situation in the country.
As for the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus and the possibility of reclosing the country’s borders, the culture and tourism minister said that in the current situation, no guarantees can be given, but the country is closely monitoring the Delta strain.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, whom the U.S. and EU do not recognize as legally elected, instructed the border troops to completely close the border with Ukraine.
He said this on Friday at a solemn meeting to mark the Independence Day, the BelTA state news agency reports.
“A huge amount of weapons is coming from Ukraine to Belarus. Therefore, I instructed the border troops to completely close the border with Ukraine,” Lukashenko said.
He said that terrorist “sleeper” cells, the so-called self-defense formations, had been detected in Belarus.
“Terrorist sleeper cells, so-called self-defense formations have been detected today. These cells intend to overthrow the government at a specified date. They don’t know what date yet: our nation has yet to accept it,” Lukashenko said.
According to him, Germany, Ukraine, the United States, Poland and Lithuania are involved in this.
The State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine plans to launch a poll campaign of foreign tourists at the border in August or September, Head of the agency Maryana Oleskiv has said.
“We will soon announce a tender, and I think that in August or September there will be such a poll. They will ask the purpose of arrival, time of stay, what people plan to visit, what expenses are planned, etc. This will allow us to understand how many tourists we have from the entire entrance flow, who is this tourist, what are her/his preferences, where does she/he get information from, the purpose of the visit,” Oleskiv told Interfax-Ukraine.
In addition, according to her, the State Agency for Tourism Development will also announce a tender for the purchase of these payment systems.
“Since they will most accurately give us a picture of exactly the costs and composition of costs, as well as show where the foreign tourist comes from and what he spends his money on. This will allow us to more accurately plan our marketing campaigns,” she said.
Among the priority countries for inbound tourism from abroad, Oleskiv named Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Poland, as well as Israel and China.
“So far, China does not allow its citizens to actively travel. But we are at a ‘low start.’ As soon as we understand that the country starts to provide opportunities for citizens to travel, we will be actively involved,” she said.
Oleskiv expects that in 2021 Ukraine will be able to reach half of the volume of international tourism in 2019, and in 2023-2024 tourism worldwide should return to the pre-quarantine level.
Deputy Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva announced the forthcoming reconstruction of key checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Polish state border due to the inclusion of the border infrastructure between Ukraine and Poland in the Big Construction program.
“Key checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Polish state border are included in the Big Construction national program, which means that they will be reconstructed, and access roads will finished so that our presidents can soon jointly examine the results of this work,” Zhovkva said, following the results of the Consulting Committee of the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland meeting via videoconference with Secretary of State of the President’s Office of Poland Krzysztof Szczerski on Monday, March 29.
A separate item on the meeting’s agenda was the discussion of trade and economic cooperation between Ukraine and Poland. The sides said that “coronavirus pandemic had practically no effect on the volume of trade between the two states.”
When discussing energy issues, the interlocutors noted the exceptional importance of ensuring energy security in Europe and coordinated joint steps to oppose the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.
The sides also discussed the implementation of joint initiatives in the energy sector, in particular, on the supply of liquefied gas from Qatar to Ukraine through the Polish infrastructure.
In the context of the discussion of Ukraine’s relations with the EU and NATO, the Secretary of State of the President’s Office of Poland assured of Poland’s consistent support for Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic prospects. He positively noted the results of the reforms that our state is introducing in order to achieve the relevant criteria for membership.
The Zhytomyr and Lutsk border detachments each received one Landini 5-120 tractor and one Rinieri TRK 200 branch chopper for a total value of more than EUR 100,000.
According to the press service of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, on the eve of the new year, assistance was received from Excelor Holding Group (LLC) as part of the implementation of a joint international technical assistance project with the European Union for provision of equipment for ensuring security and demarcation of the state border between Belarus and Ukraine, vehicles and equipment for border demarcation work.
The technical assistance will be used to carry out demarcation works and engineering arrangement of the Ukrainian-Belarusian section of the border.
Over the past day, on January 1, about 10,000 people arrived in Ukraine, the same number left the country, according to the press service of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.
“During border control measures, 22 persons were denied entry to Ukraine, of which 16 are potential illegal migrants,” the report says.
Also, 4,300 cars were recorded, of which about 1,000 more cars were moving to Ukraine.
For comparison, on the first day of 2020, some 175,000 people and about 30,000 vehicles were registered at the border. Almost 90 people and 22 potential illegal migrants were not allowed through.