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Ukraine Clarifies Limited Exemptions to Harsh Entry Ban on Russians

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Ukraine has broken its silence on a sweeping entry ban imposed earlier this week on Russian males, explaining in a letter circulated to Russian airlines a limited set of exemptions to the harsh measure.

MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has broken its silence on a sweeping entry ban imposed earlier this week on Russian males, explaining in a letter circulated to Russian airlines a limited set of exemptions to the harsh measure.

In the letter, acquired by RIA Novosti, a senior civil aviation official in the country said the ban will not apply to Russian nationals working in Ukraine or those with permanent or temporary residency.

Exceptions to the ban also include passengers traveling with families and children, transport personnel, international truck drivers, or those who have documents confirming an invitation or serious illness or death in the family, as well as ethnic Ukrainians with Russian passports.

The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service said Thursday that Russian males aged 16-60 would be denied access to the country. 

Russia's largest airline Aeroflot earlier announced it had received an official letter from Ukrainian authorities notifying the company of the severe restrictions.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service announced it had recently denied entry to over 11,000 Russian citizens, citing a need to prevent alleged radicals from entering the country.

 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the ban "outrageous" and "obviously discriminatory and unfriendly."

"We drew attention to the decision banning Russian males of a particular age from entering Ukraine. This is outrageous and does not correspond with the atmosphere our Western counterparts aimed to create during the meeting," Lavrov said, following four-party talks on Ukraine held in Geneva on Thursday.

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