MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian border guards denied entry to about 600 Russian citizens in the first 24 hours of an entry ban on Russian males, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service told RIA Novosti Friday.
“Over the last 24 hours about 600 Russian citizens were denied access to Ukraine,” the agency said.
The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service announced Thursday it was banning Russian males aged 16-60 from entering the country. Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot earlier announced it had received an official letter from Ukrainian authorities notifying the company of the severe restrictions.
The exceptions to the ban include passengers traveling with relatives who are women or children, or those who have documents confirming an invitation from close relatives or serious illness or death in the family, the company said.
Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service told RIA Novosti that the final decision on an entry ban will be made at the border.
“I can say that we will be particularly meticulous in relation to Russian citizens of the indicated age. For example, if they are well-built they will undergo a second screening,” a representative for Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service told RIA Novosti.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has requested an official explanation from Kiev on the restrictions and said that it did not rule out retaliatory measures following the move.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the entry ban imposed by Ukraine on certain groups of Russian citizens was outrageous.
“We drew attention to the decision banning Russian males of a particular age from entering Ukraine. This is outrageous and does not correspond with the atmosphere our Western counterparts aimed to create during the meeting,” Lavrov said.
He also called this move on the part of the Ukrainian government “obviously discriminatory and unfriendly.”