17 April 2014, 22:33

Ukraine entry ban on Russians outrageous - Russian FM Lavrov

Ukraine entry ban on Russians outrageous - Russian FM Lavrov

The entry ban imposed by Ukraine on certain groups of Russian citizens is outrageous, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"We drew attention to the decision banning Russian males of 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 the results of the four-party talks on Ukraine.

He also called this move on the part of the Ukrainian government "obviously discriminatory and unfriendly."

The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service confirmed earlier on Thursday that Russian males aged 16-60 were 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. The exceptions to the ban include passengers traveling with relatives who are women or children, or those who have documents confirming an invitation from close relatives or serious illness or death in the family, the company said.

"Ukrainian females aged 20-35 years who are registered as residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will be allowed to enter Ukraine only after special verification," Aeroflot added.

Also 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 radicals from entering the country.

"As part of 'Operation Border,' over 11,000 citizens of the Russian Federation were denied access [to the country] in an effort to prevent radicals from entering Ukraine," a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Security Service Marina Ostapenko said. It was unclear on what basis or criteria they were denied entry.

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