12:42 12.08.2016

Maintaining diplomatic relations with Russia makes it possible to help 4 mln Ukrainians located in Russian territory

2 min read
Maintaining diplomatic relations with Russia makes it possible to help 4 mln Ukrainians located in Russian territory

Ukraine may raise the question of introducing a visa regime with Russia if need be, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

"This issue has several aspects. Firstly, political. Of course, we should clearly control entry from the territory of Russia to Ukraine. And we have done that: entry now takes place only on foreign travel passports and only through international and interstate checkpoints. If we introduce a visa regime, it will help us more effectively filter agents of the FSB and other Russian special services, who will work for the purposes of our destabilization. I don't see a definite answer here," the minister said in an exclusive interview with Interfax.

The aspect of propaganda, which Russia may use, is also important in this context, he said. "Russia will immediately begin using the introduction of a visa regime, promoting in the media space situations where elderly people or children cannot see their relatives. It will be a propaganda spiral, which will unwind forever," Klimkin said.

Additionally, the minister said the issuance of visas requires relevant infrastructure. "In terms of logistics, it requires radical changes in the capabilities of our consulates. For example, according to tentative calculations, we need over 100 additional positions of consular officials. But it's a fairly realistic task," the minister said.

"For this reason, let us now decide what the introduction of a visa regime will bring in terms of security. If the answer is yes, we will act, and if it's no, we will find other solutions. I am often asked why [we] keep diplomatic relations with Russia in a situation of Russian aggression. The main point of these diplomatic relations is that we can help Ukrainians, of whom there are over four million in the territory of Russia," the minister said.

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