Ukraine introduces a system of biometric controls at the border with Russia

KIEV, 1 Jan — RIA Novosti. Biometric control system on Monday partially work at checkpoints on the Ukrainian border. This mechanism will be implemented in stages, first he is running on all of the checkpoint of the Ukrainian-Russian border. Russian citizens who wish to enter the territory of Ukraine, will need to go through a three-stage procedure of biometric control.

The Ukrainian authorities have not refused to introduce visa regime with Russia, they can consider this question in case of unsatisfactory performance of biometric control.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed the decree about introduction in 2018 biometric control for foreigners at the border. He also instructed to improve legislation on the registration of foreigners, to develop a mechanism for prior notification of the foreigners entry to Ukraine, and also update the list of countries of migration risk, making him Russia.

As stated by the first Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on defense Franz Klintsevich, Moscow will respond to the introduction by the President of Ukraine of biometric control for foreigners at the border. According to the Senator, the answer is addressed to Kiev, but not the ordinary Ukrainians.
Across the border on the prints

According to the new procedure of crossing the Ukrainian border, binding, fixing of biometric data shall be citizens of countries of high migration risk. This list was developed by the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine, it includes 71 countries, including some countries in Asia, the Middle East and Russia. Citizens of other countries will be selected biometric data on the results of the analysis and risk assessment.

From the mandatory fixing of biometric data are released, the heads of States and governments, members of parliamentary and governmental delegations, persons under 18 years cruise tourists, crews, diplomatic personnel and officials of international organizations.

Biometric control system will be implemented gradually from 1 January it will work in the capital’s international airports and at checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Russian border. In the future it is planned that the system will work at all checkpoints on the Ukrainian border. According to the State border service of Ukraine, 157 crossings already equipped with means of reading biometric data.

The procedure of biometric control will be held in three stages. In the first stage, wanting to get to Ukraine will have to submit prior notification of the intention to visit the country. This application is filed in the information system on the website of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The second stage is the immediate fixation of a biometric passport or biometric data at the border. At the final stage to foreigners, including Russian citizens, must register arrival. However, in which organ it is necessary to pass the registration procedure is not clear.

In test mode, biometric control system was launched on December 27 at the main border crossing points with Russia.

For implementation of the system of biometric control of the Ukrainian authorities need to spend more than $ 19 million, but this amount has allocated slightly more than $ 10 million.
The order of entry for citizens of Russia

Russians, like citizens of other countries must first apply through electronic system of pre-registration on the website of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the intention to enter the Ukraine.

At the border entering will need to pass on a special scanner fingerprints. Of the passport of the Russians, like other foreigners, will be checked, including the Interpol database. The presence of biometric passports for entry to Ukraine is not a mandatory requirement.

Ukrainian officials and politicians do not hide that the procedure of biometric control, that is the toughening of rules of entrance to the country, first and foremost, for Russian citizens.

“The Council of national security and defense took a decision on strengthening control over the border crossing of citizens, first of all, it concerns the citizens of the Russian Federation”, — stated NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov.

Despite the tightening of the rules when crossing the Ukrainian border, the Ukrainian authorities refused from the idea to introduce a visa regime with Russia. Earlier in the Ukrainian Parliament there were calls for this, but in Kiev believe that this will negatively affect Ukrainian citizens. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow will proceed from the principle of reciprocity in visa matters with Ukraine.

Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy paruby said that the introduction of biometric control at the Ukrainian border does not eliminate the question of introducing a visa regime for Russian citizens.

“This (biometric control — ed.) does not remove the urgency of introducing a full visa for citizens of Russia, so I continue to keep this issue under control and then I will look for supporters of this decision. I hope that in the future we will be able to solve this issue,” — said paruby.

The Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin did not rule out the possibility of introducing a visa regime with Russia in the future, if the authorities are not satisfied with the quality of work of biometric border control.

“First, the biometrics, then the statement that they (citizens — ed.) will call in on our territory, and then the third is the control of our territory. If these three stages do not work, then we need a visa regime, but biometric”, — said Klimkin.
Breaking ties with Russia

Director of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management Ruslan Bortnik believes that the introduction of biometric control at the Ukrainian border for foreign citizens does not solve the problem of ensuring the national security.

“From the point of view of national security — it will not solve the problem. Having a huge border with Russia and Moldova, Belarus, conditional saboteurs with malicious intentions biometric passports will not stop, they just will not go to the checkpoints. Although small, the flow from Asia and Africa and this will have an impact,” said Bortnik RIA Novosti.

He did not rule out that Kyiv’s introduction of biometric control may entail retaliatory measures of the Russian Federation.

“If Russia wants escalation, it will impose similar restrictions for Ukrainian citizens. If it is aimed at achieving some advantages over the Ukraine, it just implements the laws that are already in the state Duma and which simplifies the procedure of Russian citizenship for Ukrainian citizens,” — said Bortnik.

Agrees with him Director of the Ukrainian analytical center “Third sector” Andrei Zolotarev, who believes that security in Ukraine of biometric control will not affect.

“As for security, it is achieved by several other means and methods. A biometric control of anyone else is not insured and not safe from terrorist attacks or the infiltration of people with illegal intentions,” said Zolotarev RIA Novosti.

In his opinion, biometric control system is only aimed at severing all ties between Kiev and Moscow.

“The real purpose of the venture with a biometric control is to break all ties with Russia, as well as creating problems for travel and personal contacts of the citizens. It will be a headache for the ordinary citizens… But the government holding is not worried, because their task is a political one. This task, obviously under the instructions of their supervisors from Washington, the Ukrainian government systematically performs” — the expert believes.

In turn, the Director of the Ukrainian Center for political studies and conflictology Mikhail Pogrebinsky believes that the Ukrainian authorities will continue to tighten the procedure of border crossing for citizens of Russia.

“I don’t doubt that, becoming on the road “away from Moscow”, the Ukrainian leadership will step up and try to experience all the possibilities of creating any problems for the Russian Federation, despite the fact that in parallel will cause problems for Ukrainian citizens. As for the Russian response, it is difficult to say. Generally speaking, there is an accumulation of irritation in Moscow by the actions of the Ukrainian authorities, will overflow and will retaliate,” said Pogrebinsky RIA Novosti.

Relations between Moscow and Kiev deteriorated on the background of the situation in the Donbass. Kiev has repeatedly accused Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s Affairs. Russia denies it and calls such accusations unacceptable. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to domestic conflict, uninvolved in the events in Donbass and is interested in Ukraine overcame political and economic crisis.