When Russia illegally invaded Ukraine, now in its fourth year, and Ukraine takes steps to defend itself, Russia labels it a “new Berlin Wall”.
Quite literally, “Berlin Wall” is used by Russian FM Lavrov in his statement:
11 July 201717:17
Comment by the Information and Press Department on Kiev’s plans to change the rules of entry to Ukraine for Russian citizens
On July 10, 2017, according to the Ukrainian media, Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council proposed new border crossing formalities for foreigners – by biometric passports. Special rules of entry and stay in the country are allegedly being envisaged for Russian citizens. The case in point is a certain electronic system for preliminary registration and the submission to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry of additional information about a Russian citizen, the reason for his or her trip to Ukraine and which places in Ukraine he or she plans to visit. All these novelties have reportedly yet to be finalised and approved. We will be watching attentively as to what extent they will comply with the existing bilateral agreement on visa-free travel for citizens of Russia and Ukraine, which was signed on January 16, 1997.
Thus, Kiev is stubbornly following its vicious line towards severing contacts between millions of people in both countries. This policy is not surprising. For the current Kiev regime the very fact that Ukrainians have numerous relatives, friends and acquaintances in Russia is, evidently, a real threat. Considerable funds are being spent on fighting it – from the construction of Yatsenyuk’s ‘Great Wall’ to banning Russian social networks.
By all appearances, Ukraine is ready to build a new ‘iron curtain’ for the sole purpose of preventing normal human and family communications between citizens of Russia and Ukraine. In this context, it is safe to mention delirious calls in the Verkhovna Rada to bar tours by Russian artists in Ukraine and Ukrainian artists in Russia.
At all times, culture and human contacts have been bridges for the establishment of relations both at a state and civil society level. Attempts by Ukraine to fence itself off with a new ‘Berlin Wall’ are utterly deplorable.
I believe, and I am allowed to voice my opinion on my blog, is that it is deplorable when a Russian Foreign Minister denigrates Ukrainian attempts to protect itself from foreign invaders by implementing procedures to verify identities of foreign visitors. Yes, it makes it more difficult for Russians, that is Ukraine’s right. Especially in light of Russian illegal aggression and four years of covert war waged against Ukraine by Russia.
To think otherwise is just uncivilized.
Ukraine’s new border restrictions regarded as ‘new Berlin Wall’: Russian FM
Xinhua, July 12, 2017
Ukraine’s plans to tighten border crossing on Russian citizens is an attempt to set up a “new Berlin Wall”, Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
“Kiev continues to persistently bend the vicious line towards severing contacts between millions of citizens of the two countries,” the ministry’s Information and Press Department said in a statement published on the website.
Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council on Monday proposed to introduce biometric passports for foreign citizens crossing its border, which would supposedly affect Russian citizens primarily.
In the statement, the Russian ministry accused Ukraine of intending to build a new “iron curtain” just to prevent normal human and related communication between the two countries.
“Culture and ties between people have remained bridges for establishing relations both at the state level and civil society level at all times. Attempts of Ukraine to fence itself off with the ‘new Berlin Wall’ are very unfortunate,” it said.
“We will be watching closely how they will comply with the provisions of the current bilateral agreement of Jan. 16, 1997 on visa-free travel of citizens of Russia and Ukraine,” it added.
According to Russian senator Franz Klintsevich, Russia will consider a retaliatory response to Ukraine’s decision, which could affect up to 4 million Ukrainians working in Russia.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been exacerbated since 2014 when Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum, but Ukraine insisted it was illegally annexed by Russia and remains a Ukrainian territory.