Progress in the Situation in Russia and Ukraine: Russia Allows Ukrainian Citizens to Enter Visa-Free and the UK Announces Sanctions on a Number of Russian Officials
China News Service, Beijing, September 30th – On September 29th, Russia made an announcement stating that Ukrainian citizens can now enter and leave Russia without a visa, as long as they possess valid identification documents. On the same day, the British government also announced sanctions on several Russian officials.
According to reports from the Russian Satellite News Agency and TASS News Agency, a decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 29th outlined the new visa-free entry regulation. Ukrainian citizens are now able to enter Russia using their national or foreign passport, diplomatic or official passport, or sailor’s and crew identity card. For minors, a birth certificate or passport of their legal guardian, along with the child’s information, will be required. Additionally, Ukrainian citizens with expired documents are also permitted to enter Russia without a visa.
It should be noted that Russia and Ukraine had previously signed a visa-free travel agreement in 1997. However, Ukraine terminated the agreement on January 1st of this year.
In other news, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that on the early morning of September 30th, they successfully thwarted an attempt by the Ukrainian army to attack Belgorod Oblast using nine “Hurricane” rocket launcher system shells. All of the shells were destroyed. Additionally, the Russian “Dnepr” cluster successfully repelled a Ukrainian army’s landing attempt on Grand Bachomkin Island in the direction of Kherson.
Furthermore, the Russian army also reported the destruction of a drone command post and four Ukrainian soldiers near Kherson Oblast. Two other Ukrainian soldiers were injured in the incident. In another operation, the Russian army destroyed a radio intelligence station and a group of four Ukrainian soldiers in the direction of Kakhovka.
On a recent statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense mentioned that in the previous week, they have successfully neutralized three Ukrainian sabotage reconnaissance groups in the direction of Kherson. The operation resulted in the death of approximately 250 Ukrainian soldiers, as well as the destruction of 16 armored fighting vehicles and 7 field guns.
In Ukraine, President Zelensky met with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Basso, on September 29th. Zelensky expressed his gratitude for the continuous support and financing of development projects in Ukraine from the EBRD. He also emphasized the need for further investment in order to achieve recovery and stable economic development in the country. Zelensky showed interest in continuing cooperation with the EBRD, particularly in the areas of energy security, trade finance, critical infrastructure, and food security. He also stressed the importance of strengthening financing for private sector projects.
In response, Basso stated that Ukraine’s economy has stabilized, and the EBRD will focus on private sector projects, including increasing agricultural production capacity. The bank intends to collaborate with other financial institutions to provide funding for small and medium-sized enterprises.
In a separate development, the British government announced sanctions on more Russian officials on September 29th. These sanctions impose operational and financial restrictions on the relevant Russian officials and involve 11 items. The UK has imposed sanctions on over 1,600 individuals and units since Russia initiated special military operations.