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.
Ukraine reopened its borders to international visitors at 00:01 a.m. on September 28, the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service said.
“A decree which also set out restrictions on foreigners’ entry continues to be valid. This is Government Decree No. 641. At the same time, it imposed a ban on foreigners’ entry to the territory of our country precisely from August 28 and until 00:01 a.m. on September 28. Thus, as a matter of fact, this norm that banned foreigners from entering our country ceased to be in effect overnight. From now on, foreigners are allowed to enter our country,” State Border Guard Service spokesman Andriy Demchenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.
Border guards are acting in compliance with the law that regulates passage across the state border of Ukraine, i.e. the law “On Border Control”, and in compliance with the government’s decree on foreign citizens’ exit and entry to Ukraine, he said.
There are currently no separate requirements for foreigners to self-isolate or have travel medical insurance when coming to Ukraine, he said.
“This norm has ceased to be in effect. Therefore, there are presently no separate requirements that the government would have imposed on foreigners who enter Ukraine during the quarantine,” Demchenko said.
As reported earlier, Ukraine banned foreign citizens from entering its territory from 00:01 a.m. on August 28 and until 00:01 a.m. on September 28.
The Ukrainian government has made changes to the list of exceptions for foreigners who are not denied entry in the country, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Facebook.
The new rules scrap the provision allowing foreigners who are in transit on the territory of Ukraine to enter the country.
Exceptions from the entry ban are made for people who are spouses, parents, children, or grandparents of a citizen of Ukraine.
Children are given legal status before they become full of age.
If people are sent to Ukraine to study, they only have to go to higher education establishments.
According to earlier reports, the Ukrainian government closed the borders to foreign citizens until September 28.
The restriction did not affect people who have residence permits, are members of international and humanitarian missions, who enter the country in transit, who drive cargo road vehicles, are instructors of NATO states, culture figures, people who have invitations from culture establishments, and also some other categories of people.
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%.
Foreigners and stateless persons who have exceeded their terms of stay in Ukraine during the quarantine period will not be held liable for this violation, Yuriy Lysiuk, the head of the border control for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, has said on July 4.
“If a foreigner or stateless person has exceeded the period of stay in Ukraine before the introduction of quarantine measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 on the territory of Ukraine, then such persons will be held liable for violating the terms of their stay when crossing the state border,” Lysiuk was quoted by the service as saying.
It is noted that, according to the current legislation, foreigners and stateless persons who could not leave Ukraine or were unable to contact the territorial bodies of the State Migration Service of Ukraine with an application to extend their stay in Ukraine or to exchange a residence permit in connection with the introduction of the quarantine, administrative liability does not apply if such violations occurred during or as a result of the quarantine.
These rules apply exclusively to foreigners and stateless persons who were legally in Ukraine at the beginning of quarantine.
Foreigners entering Ukraine should have an insurance policy covering COVID-19 treatment, Ukraine’s Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov has said.”We are talking about a usual voluntary medical insurance policy. It is very important for us that the person who comes to Ukraine, who is not a citizen of Ukraine and not a refugee, must have a policy that covers exactly the COVID-19 treatment,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv.
The minister explained that according to the law, the state covers treatment only to citizens of Ukraine or refugees who are in the territory of Ukraine