Ukraine says it will introduce new border-crossing rules from next year, affecting citizens of “countries that pose risks for Ukraine.”
President Petro Poroshenko told reporters on September 1 that a new set of regulations will be published “in the coming hours,” according to a statement on the presidential website.
The rules will stipulate that starting January 1, citizens of countries that pose risks for Ukraine will either have to show a biometric passport or provide such biometric information to the authorities when crossing the border.
“Under the current circumstances, when the country is subjected to Russia's military aggression, such a practice is fully justified,” Poroshenko said.
Although it singled out Russia, the statement did not specify the countries that it considers pose a threat to Ukraine.
Russia's state-run Interfax news agency quoted Oleh Slobodin, the chief of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), as saying foreigners affected by the new policy will be required to submit to fingerprinting if they do not have biometric passports.
Slobodin also said Russian citizens will also have to notify Ukrainian authorities in advance about their travel plans.
Biometric, or e-passports, contain computer chips with information about the traveler, generally used to prevent fraud and forgery.
Relations between pro-West Ukraine and Russia have been tense since Moscow seized control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and backed separatists in a war against Kyiv's forces that has killed more than 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine