00:14 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) headquarters in Kiev

    Ukraine Proposes Criminal Penalty for Civil Servants' Visits to Russia

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    The Ukrainian Security Service has initiated a public discussion on a bill introducing criminal penalties against the country's civil servants, visiting Russia.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) on Friday said it had started a public discussion on a bill that would introduce criminal penalties on Ukrainian civil servants who visit Russia with the aim of harming Kiev’s national interests.

    "SBU is initiating public discussion of a bill on restricting Ukraine’s civil servants visits to Russia … SBU lawyers have prepared a bill on restricting visits to Russia for politicians, civil servants, representatives of local government and public figures. The project of the law implies the introduction of criminal penalties for civil servant visits to Russia with a purpose of harming national interests of Ukraine. The relevant provision is proposed to be added to the Criminal Code of Ukraine," the statement read.

    The authorities noted that they are open to constructive and professional proposals on improving the bill before it is passed to legislative bodies.

    On Thursday, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill which bans Russian artists from touring in the country since, according to Kiev, they pose a "threat to national security."

    Russian-Ukrainian relations deteriorated in 2014 after Crimea’s reunification with Russia and amid the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. Kiev has repeatedly accused Moscow of interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs, while Russia denied the allegations as unacceptable, emphasizing that it has not been a party to the Donbas conflict.

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