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Russia Begins Issuing Passports to Crimeans, Ukraine to Set Up New Visa Regime

Published: March 20, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Ukraine said it would introduce a visa regime with Russia.
    Photo: Lider.mk

Russia has started handing out passports to residents of Crimea, while Ukraine said it would introduce a visa regime with its former Soviet neighbor following Moscow's takeover of the Black Sea peninsula.

Ahead of the introduction of full-fledged visa requirements, Ukraine's government has ordered its Foreign Ministry to develop regulations "within hours" that would require Russian citizens to carry special passports instead of domestic identification papers to enter Ukraine, head of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

The Foreign Ministry "has been ordered to implement this decision in the shortest time that is technically possible," he said.

Ukraine does not recognize dual citizenship, which means that Crimeans who choose to receive Russian passports may have to apply for a visa to visit their former homeland.

Head of Russia's Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky said his agency had opened up offices in Crimea to hand out Russian passports to "everyone who applies," Itar-Tass reported. A batch of passports has already been issued, he added.

Russian issues two types of passports: a domestic one, which is the main identification document for Russians at home, and a separate one for traveling abroad. Applications for foreign-travel documents usually take at least a month to process.

Parubiy said Ukraine had also decided to leave the Moscow-led alliance of former Soviet states, the so-called Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS, that was formed after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.

Another former Soviet republic, Georgia, has also left the regional alliance, after Moscow supported the separatist drive of two of its territories in 2008.

Ukraine would seek United Nations support for turning Crimea into a demilitarized zone, Parubiy said, Reuters reported.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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