KIEV (Sputnik) – On Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said the ministry was ready to implement the necessary procedures on introducing the visa regime with Russia in case such a decision is taken.
"[Visa regime introduction] requires at least 1.5-2 billion hryvnias [approximately $56.7 — 76.5 million]. There are preliminary estimates… I do not understand the reason for doing it now," Lutsenko said, specifying the establishment of consulates and other institutions would also require funding.
Lutsenko noted that the visa regime with Russia would complicate the movement of Crimea residents, who possess Ukrainian passports.
On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia will respond in kind should Ukraine introduce visa travel for Russian citizens, however, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin assumed earlier in the day that it was still too early to speak about Russian response measures to Ukraine's likely unilateral move.
Yet in March 2014, Crimea held referendum on rejoining Russia, which ended with the overwhelming majority of the Crimean voters, 97 percent, supporting the reunification. However, Kiev and the West refuse to recognize the vote’s results and still consider Crimea a part of Ukraine.