Ukraine's border with Russia should be impregnable for enemies, transparent for friends - State Border Service head
Head of the State Border Service of Ukraine Serhiy Deineko is in favor of transparency of the Ukrainian border for citizens of the Russian Federation who come from Ukraine and are friendly to the Ukrainian state.
"The state border should be an impregnable wall for the enemies of Ukraine, for unwanted people who visited Crimea, publicly calling for annexation. On the other hand, it should be transparent and comfortable for our friends. If a person travels to our country with clear and understandable intentions, and they are friendly, then there should be no discomfort for him," said Deineko in an interview with BBC News Ukraine, published on Friday morning.
At the same time, he stressed that his policy towards citizens of the Russian Federation remains unchanged: "Russia is an aggressor state, but ... it became an aggressor state thanks to its leader Vladimir Putin and the ruling elite."
"There are people in Russia who are radically-minded against Ukraine ... This is their problem ... Nothing has changed, just when we do not let in the citizens of Russia, we must understand that for a while Ukraine was part of the USSR and a lot of Ukrainians lived in Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan. There are a lot of Russians who come from Ukraine. They have been living in Russia for 20-30 years, received Russian citizenship. There are mixed marriages with Russian children, and they come once a year to visit their elderly parents. How can I not let Ukrainians in with a Russian passport to their old mother? And there are a lot of such situations every day. I want the border guard to take all these causes into account at the border, especially with Russia," the head of the department said.
When asked about the prospects of introducing an online pre-notification system for citizens of the Russian Federation who want to enter Ukraine, Deineko answered: "First, appropriate changes to the law should be introduced, and then we will implement them."