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Russia Begins Issuing Passports to Crimeans, Ukraine to Set Up New Visa Regime

Published: March 20, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Ukraine said it would introduce a visa regime with Russia.
    Photo: Lider.mk

Russia has started handing out passports to residents of Crimea, while Ukraine said it would introduce a visa regime with its former Soviet neighbor following Moscow's takeover of the Black Sea peninsula.

Ahead of the introduction of full-fledged visa requirements, Ukraine's government has ordered its Foreign Ministry to develop regulations "within hours" that would require Russian citizens to carry special passports — instead of domestic identification papers — to enter Ukraine, head of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

The Foreign Ministry "has been ordered to implement this decision in the shortest time that is technically possible," he said.

Ukraine does not recognize dual citizenship, which means that Crimeans who choose to receive Russian passports may have to apply for a visa to visit their former homeland.

Head of Russia's Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky said his agency had opened up offices in Crimea to hand out Russian passports to "everyone who applies," Itar-Tass reported. A batch of passports has already been issued, he added.

Russian issues two types of passports: a domestic one, which is the main identification document for Russians at home, and a separate one for traveling abroad. Applications for foreign-travel documents usually take at least a month to process.

Parubiy said Ukraine had also decided to leave the Moscow-led alliance of former Soviet states, the so-called Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS, that was formed after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.

Another former Soviet republic, Georgia, has also left the regional alliance, after Moscow supported the separatist drive of two of its territories in 2008.

Ukraine would seek United Nations support for turning Crimea into a demilitarized zone, Parubiy said, Reuters reported.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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