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    Shebekino customs checkpoint on Russian-Ukrainian border. File photo

    Moscow Sorry Ukraine Wants to Isolate Itself From Russia With New 'Berlin Wall'

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    Moscow regards Kiev's plans to introduce entry for Russian citizens by biometric passports as a policy aimed at severing contacts with Russia, and regrets Ukraine's attempts to build a new "Berlin Wall", the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine would introduce biometric control for citizens of other countries who cross its border, with relevant decisions being already drafted. According to National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, the decision to introduce biometric control on the Ukrainian border would, first of all, affect Russian citizens.

    "Kiev continues to persistently pursue the vicious policy to sever contacts for millions of citizens of the two countries… Apparently, Ukraine is ready to build a new iron curtain just to prevent normal human and related communication between residents of Russia and Ukraine," the Russian ministry said.

    "Ukraine's attempts to fence itself off with a new 'Berlin Wall' are very regrettable," it said.

    The measures implemented by Kiev include, among others, calls of Ukrainian lawmakers to ban Russian artists from touring Ukraine, and vice versa, despite culture historically being a "bridge to developing relations both at the level of state and civil society."

    Russian Senator Franz Klintsevich said earlier that if Moscow decides to respond to Ukraine's decision, it may affect up to 4 million Ukrainians working in Russia.

    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Monday that the new restrictions would differ from a visa regime, since the latter did not allow to control the entry date, as well as movements within the country apart from the new integrated biometric system. The minister added that the entry rules for Russians will be tightened stage by stage.

    The Russian-Ukrainian relations deteriorated after eruption of crisis in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and Crimea’s decision to rejoin Russia. Kiev has repeatedly accused Moscow of interfering in the affairs of Ukraine. Russia denied the allegations and called such accusations unacceptable, emphasizing that it has not been a party in the Donbass conflict.


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