Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has supported the bill No. 7017, which provides for the introduction of criminal liability for the illegal crossing of the state border by the citizens of the aggressor country. 241 people's deputies have voted for the bill.
The bill provides for imprisonment for up to 3 years for Russians’ illegal crossing of Ukraine’s state border (or persons with other nationalities in favor of the Russian Federation). In particular, we are talking about getting to the territory of Ukraine outside the checkpoints, without the necessary documents or with documents containing inaccurate information.
If such violation is committed repeatedly or by a group of persons, the responsibility is toughened (deprivation of liberty from 3 to 5 years).
If the described violation is paralleled with the use of weapons, the imprisonment might be up to 8 years.
The co-author of the bill, presidential representative in the parliament Iryna Lutsenko stated that the bill is planned to be finalized for the second reading.
"The bill will establish a ground that is already used in the related article of the Criminal Code, which regulates the issues of violation of the order of entry to temporarily occupied territory. The following: a criminal offense will be the illegal crossing of the state border, aimed at harming the interests of the state borders for persons who are prohibited from entering the territory of Ukraine, as well as for persons who are representatives of the aggressor-state's security agencies," Iryna Lutsenko claimed.
According to her, it is planned that the Security Service of Ukraine will investigate such violations.
"In addition, we will take into account the proposal of the Fatherland faction representatives that the crime will also be criminalized when the line of delimitation is crossed illegally," the co-author of the document added.
Earlier, the parliament increased fines for illegally crossing the border. Since April 29, 2018, the crossing of the state border outside the checkpoint or on forged documents entails a fine of 125 – 315 USD. A repeated violation during the year or a group of people entails a fine of 300-500 USD. Deliberate entry into Ukraine by a foreigner, despite the ban, provides for a fine from 60-200 USD.
Violation of the order of entry into temporarily occupied territories is punished by a fine 125-190 USD, repeated violation by a group of persons or within a year carries a penalty of a 325 USD fine. But these fines can be imposed only within three months from the date of detection of the violation and not later than a year from the date of commission.
Procedure for the entry of foreigners into the territory of the temporarily annexed Crimea is currently in force, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 722 of September 16, 2015. According to the document, foreign journalists must coordinate a visit to the peninsula with the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, and human rights activists and representatives of international NGOs must coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, the list of grounds on which foreign citizens can obtain permission to enter Crimea includes the preaching of religious beliefs, the performance of religious rites or the satisfaction of religious needs (exclusively at the request or agreement with the Ministry of Culture), as well as participation in activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.
At the moment, the only legal way to visit Crimea is to come from the territory of Ukraine.
However, the approved rules were criticized, since foreigners cannot get the permits or apply for entry to the territory of annexed Crimea, being outside Ukraine. To obtain permission, they must go to Ukraine and file special documents.
Read the original text at 112.ua.