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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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