The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in 2020 did not allow more than 19,500 foreigners to enter Ukraine, head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Serhiy Deineko said.
“Since the beginning of the year, for various reasons, we have not allowed more than 19,500 foreigners into Ukraine. In most cases, these are those who could not confirm the purpose of their travel, had restrictions on entry or illegally visited the occupied territories, exceeded their stay or traveled with invalid documents. The majority of foreigners are citizens of Russia, Moldova and Turkey,” Deineko said in an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
According to him, more than 8,000 people were also identified, both Ukrainians and foreigners, who illegally visited the temporarily occupied Crimea.
“At the same time, it was the officers of the border department that issued more than 7,800 bans on entry to our country against foreigners for various violations. In addition, I will add that in 11 months we found more than 8,000 people – both Ukrainians and foreigners – who illegally visited temporarily occupied Crimea. We find up to 40 such people per day,” Deineko said.
The head of the State Border Guard Service explained that since the beginning of the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the issue of illegal visits by Ukrainian and foreign citizens to the occupied territory has been raised. “At the same time, some of the foreigners then try to get to the territory of Ukraine under all sorts of pretexts, there are many clerisy people and actors among them,” he said.
“We have no alternative. Our position is principled: if a citizen of a foreign state visited the territory of the occupied Crimea, the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, contrary to Ukrainian legislation, he receives three years of a ban on entry into Ukraine and will not be allowed into the territory of Ukraine,” Deineko said.
If a citizen of Ukraine visits the relevant territories in violation of the law, he will be brought to administrative responsibility, the head of the department added.
On Monday, the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia decided to temporarily ban and restrict crossing the Croatian border from December 1 to December 15, 2020, the Ukrainian Embassy in Croatia said.
“The ban does not apply to citizens of Ukraine who have a valid residence permit in the EU countries and arrive in Croatia directly from the countries of the European Union that are on the green list of countries identified by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, have no signs of illness and have not been to close contact with a sick person,” the embassy said on the Facebook page on Monday. Citizens of Ukraine with a residence permit in the EU, who transited without delay through other EU countries to Croatian checkpoints, must prove at the border crossing that they were not detained in transit countries, and in this case, the ban from this decision does not apply on them.
“Other Ukrainian citizens who are sent from EU countries will be allowed to enter the Republic of Croatia upon presentation of a negative PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, taken no more than 48 hours before crossing the border (counting from the time of testing to arriving at the checkpoint), or with the mandatory passage of self-isolation before passing the appropriate PCR test in Croatia and receiving a negative result,” the embassy said.
Ukrainian citizens who permanently reside in Ukraine have the right to enter Croatia on exceptional grounds. In particular, these are medical workers, health researchers, care workers for the elderly; border guards; workers in the transport industry; diplomats, employees of international organizations, military personnel, police officers, humanitarian workers and civil protection persons in the performance of their duties; persons traveling in transit; persons traveling for study purposes; sailors; persons traveling for urgent personal or family reasons, business reasons or other economic interests.
The Ukrainian diplomatic institution said that such citizens of Ukraine as medical workers, researchers in the field of health, care workers for elderly people; sailors; persons traveling for urgent personal or family reasons, business reasons or have other economic interests will be allowed to enter Croatia if they have a negative PCR test result valid for 48 hours, or if they enter Croatia with mandatory self-isolation prior to passing the appropriate PCR test in Croatia and get negative.
“Persons traveling through Croatia must leave the country within 12 hours from the moment of entry. If there is a reason for entering Croatia, it is needed to register the intention on the website of the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs https://entercroatia.mup.hr/ and print the registration number of the application, so such confirmation will speed up the crossing of the border, but it is not an entry permit from the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs,” the embassy said.
The Ukrainian embassy said that when crossing the border and staying in Croatia, all persons are required to comply with epidemiological safety measures and general and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA, Kyiv) canceled flights on eight destinations, reduced their frequency on seven more destinations.
According to the airline’s website, as a result of such measures, UIA is forced to revise the flight schedule and significantly reduce them. Starting from September 14, the following flights will be completely canceled: Kyiv-Zaporizhia, Kyiv-Madrid, Kyiv-Barcelona, Kyiv-Geneva, Kyiv-Delhi, Kyiv-Berlin, Kyiv-Chisinau, and also Kyiv-Athens (except for two flights). Flights on the route Kyiv-Kherson will be canceled from September 20.
In addition, the airline reduced the frequency of flights on the following routes: Kyiv-Odesa, Kyiv-Paris, Kyiv-Dusseldorf, Kyiv-Brussels, Kyiv-Dubai, Kyiv-Istanbul, and Kyiv-Tel Aviv.
“We now have to make a decision on the airline’s plans for the coming days, without having enough time or enough information. Of course, we will wait for the publication of the Cabinet of Ministers resolution and make a decision to cancel flights, based on the content of the document. We are considering several options, including radical,” CEO of the airline Yevhen Dykhne said.
According to the airline, in the total current UIA passenger traffic, the percentage of foreigners transported is about 60%.