Russia maintains visa-free travel with Ukraine - deputy foreign minister

Russia has no plans so far to introduce visa requirements with regard to Ukraine, but retains the right to respond to appropriate steps on the part of Kiev on this issue, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary Grigory Karasin said.

Russia has no plans so far to introduce visa requirements with regard to Ukraine, but retains the right to respond to appropriate steps on the part of Kiev on this issue, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary Grigory Karasin said.

"As far as we are concerned, the visa-free regime remains in place," he said at an expanded session of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday.

Hopefully, the new Ukrainian authorities will still change their mind concerning the introduction of visas for Russian citizens, Karasin said.

"But if such a decision is adopted, it will naturally create a new situation," he added.

When commenting on the rules for staying in Russia applied to Ukrainian citizens who work there, Karasin said "they remain the same, and no one is going to change them, but we will closely follow the position of the Ukrainian side."

An initiative put forth by the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council to introduce visas with regard to Russia "caused a feeling of disappointment and regret," he said.

"Such an initiative will certainly make ordinary citizens suffer primarily in Ukraine, as well as in Russia," Karasin said.

This will also "trigger qualitative changes in the nature of relations between ordinary people living in adjacent regions of Russia and Ukraine," he said.

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