Kyiv is considering options for issuing visas to Russians through visa centers or a representative office of a third country, the government of Ukraine reported
Ukrainian authorities are working on a mechanism for issuing visas to Russians, among the possible options— processing through visa centers or in the diplomatic representation of a third country, said Oleg Nemchinov, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
“Firstly, we have existing agreements with the visa centers of the Russian Federation, as far as we were informed at a government meeting by Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Tochitsky,” — Ukrinform quotes Nemchinov's words.
Also, he noted, proposals will be prepared for President Volodymyr Zelensky on choosing a country that will represent the interests of Ukraine in Russia and deal with visa issues.
“After this is done and a decision is made, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will additionally inform both our citizens and citizens of the Russian Federation about the method of obtaining a visa, its cost,” — Nemchinov said.
On June 17, the government of Ukraine decided to terminate the visa-free regime with Russia. As Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky reported, this was done “as part of countering unprecedented threats to national security.”
The visa regime will come into effect for Russians from July 1, 2022. Before that, to visit the country it was necessary to have a passport valid for the entire duration of the trip.
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Kyiv broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow on February 24, the first day of the Russian special operation. Then the Ukrainian authorities announced the evacuation of diplomats and consular workers from Russia.
In the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries, visa issues can be taken over by the embassy of a third country, which is trusted by both parties, Andrey Baklanov, deputy chairman of the Association of Russian Diplomats, explained in a conversation with RBC. “For example, a section of Ukraine can be opened at the embassy of Turkey, or Switzerland, or some other third party that agrees to take it upon itself,” — he noted.
Baklanov added that no agreement is needed to open such a section, so two countries without diplomatic relations do not need to interact to resolve this issue. “This can be formalized as an agreement between each of the interested parties with a third party,” — he noted.
Similar practice is already applied in relations between Russia and Georgia. After the armed conflict in South Ossetia in 2008, diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed, and now Russia's interests in Georgia and Georgia in Russia are represented by Switzerland.