Ivanov: Ukraine NATO deal may create visas

June 14, 2008 at 2:43 PM

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine, June 14 (UPI) -- Russian citizens likely will get additional visas if Ukraine is admitted into NATO, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says.

The Russian official said Saturday while more Russian natives will likely be presented with visas if Ukraine is admitted into the international organization, such travel documents likely would not cause an increase in tourism in Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported.

"A second consequence of NATO membership for Ukraine will be introducing a visa regime, as NATO will insist Ukraine introduce one," Ivanov said during a 225th anniversary celebration for the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol.

"I seriously doubt that the number of Russian tourists as a result (of the introduction of visas) will increase and their place taken by American, English and German tourists."

Russia has been a strong opponent of Ukraine's attempt to join NATO, going so far as to threaten to redirect missile systems to target the neighboring country if Ukraine is successful in its efforts, RIA Novosti said.

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