#Commentary of Elena Melnik on introduction of biometric control for foreigners in Ukraine

Petro Poroshenko, by an appropriate decree, which was published on September 1, 2017, enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on biometric control for foreigners on the border from 2018 onwards.

The head of the Ukrainian Security Service went further: he proposed to prohibit the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada from traveling to the Russian Federation and introduce criminal responsibility for crossing the border with the ‘aggressor country’ by politicians and public figures.

At any moment, even before the beginning of 2018, Ukraine can tighten the access regime for Russia. This was indicated by the migration service of the country. Despite the fact that restrictions on the entry of Russian citizens in the form of biometric control were promised to be implemented from January 1, 2018, it was decided to accelerate the procedure.

Ukrainian deputies failed to “close the barrier” to the neighbouring Russia before the holidays, and the new political season began with the approval of biometric control against the Russians. Probably, in this way Poroshenko demonstrates to the national “patriots” steel firmness in relations with the country, which he calls an aggressor. Therefore, the deportation of a Russian journalist, replenishment of the base of the Mirotvorets (Peacemaker) site with artists, singers and directors of ‘enemy’ Russia – all this in order to divert the attention of the people from the pressing problems in which Ukraine has mired.

As for this decree, now when entering Ukraine, Russians will face a rather unpleasant surprise. To cross the Ukrainian state border, you need to have a biometric passport with you. Also, foreigners will need a completed application form on the website of the foreign ministry, and only in Ukrainian or English. An interesting fact here is the fact that Ukraine did not provide for the possibility of filling out questionnaires for the Russian-speaking population.

So, Russian citizens who would decide to visit a neighbouring country are required to inform Ukraine within a month before arrival about the need to visit the country by filling out a questionnaire that indicates not only the data of a foreign citizen, but also the purpose of the visit, duration and place of stay, as well as a movement plan through the territory of the state. But there are situations that do not depend on a person’s will, such as death or a serious illness of a relative. How to act then? After all, this cannot be announced in advance. In such cases, a separate notification procedure should be provided. However, Ukrainian lawmakers did not foresee this at this stage. In such a short time, precedents have taken place, as, for example, the situation with the Russian singer Natasha Korolyova, who was not allowed to attend the funeral of her grandmother. How citizens should act in such cases? Desperate people will probably simply be removed from the train, “in order to strengthen national security,” so to speak.

Elena Melnik, the DPR People’s Council deputy

Official website of the DPR People’s Council

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