Ukraine introduces visa regime for Russians amid war

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine plans to introduce a visa regime for Russian citizens, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday.

The move is likely to be viewed as symbolic given that the borders between the neighboring countries are officially closed while they are at war in Ukraine. It nevertheless represents a significant change to the ease of travel previously permitted.

In a Telegram post, Zelenskyy said that Russians will need a visa to enter Ukraine from July 1. He said the decision, which is due to be formalized through a Cabinet resolution, was motivated by “unprecedented threats to the national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine.

Before Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russians didn’t need visas to enter the country. Many Russians have relatives across the border, while others traveled regularly to visit Ukraine’s southern beaches and urban cultural hubs.

The war in Ukraine Russia’s war on its southern neighbor was in its 17th week on Friday.

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