Ukrainian officials strengthen border entry control during temporary martial law period


Following the introduction of martial law in Ukraine (effective since 28 November 2018, more details here), on 30 November 2018, the President of Ukraine announced in social media restriction on the entry to Ukraine of male Russian nationals between the ages of 16 and 60.

Later, the website of the Ministry of Interior and the Ukrainian media published comments by the Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (the “Border Service”), who reiterated the above announcement and added that the Border Service will also closely control entry of all foreigners with a special focus on Russian nationals.

The chief of the media relations department of the Border Service then commented to the media that the restriction would specifically apply to Russian nationals deemed to pose at least a minor threat to Ukraine or who cannot clearly explain the purpose of their visit.

In addition, on 1 December 2018, the Border Service commented on its website that it will restrict the entry of any foreigner or stateless person, who inter alia cannot clearly explain the purpose of their travel to Ukraine. At the same time, the Border Service commented that it will allow to Ukraine individuals having diplomatic status in Ukraine, personnel of transport vehicles and residence permit holders (permanent or temporary), if these persons can “clearly confirm” the purpose of their travel. The Border Service also mentioned that it will favourably treat travels having a “humanitarian purpose”, e.g. healthcare visits, studies, as well as the travels with the purpose to take part in “certain projects or competitions” upon invitation.

Importantly, however, the Border Service will make final decision to allow or restrict entry to Ukraine for any particular foreign national on a case-by-case basis.

Although we are not personally aware of any precedents of rejections for EU citizens or nationals of other western countries to cross Ukrainian border in these circumstances as of the date of this Law-Now, we would still recommend to be ready for questioning from the border officers. In particular, travellers can likely be asked to confirm the purpose of their visit (e.g., with a letter of invitation to participate in certain project in Ukraine).

Law-Now is constantly monitoring developments in Ukraine, and will issue regular updates on the impact of martial law on business and investment. For more information, please contact authors of this publication.


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