Almost 20,000 foreigners denied entry to Ukraine in 2020 - head of Border Guard Service
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.