Ukrainian bill making illegal border crossing a criminal offense passes second reading
KYIV. Oct 18 (Interfax) - Ukrainian MPs have approved at second reading legislative amendments to make illegally crossing the Ukrainian border a criminal offense.
The bill would make the crossing of the border to inflict damage on the interests of the state or by a person banned from entering Ukraine or a representative of "the defense and security agencies of the aggressor state" in any way bypassing a checkpoint punishable by up to three years in prison.
The same liability is envisaged for crossing the state border at official entry points without valid documents or with documents containing false information.
A repeat illegal crossing by a person or a group of persons would be penalized by three to five years in prison.
An illegal crossing by trespassers involving acts of violence or the use of weapons would be penalized by a term in prison ranging from five to eight years.
The bill would take effect the day after being published.
"This bill was developed to help secure the protection and territorial integrity of Ukraine by declaring the illegal crossing of our state border by representatives of the aggressor state a criminal offense," Andriy Kozhemiakin, the head of the committee for the legislative support of law enforcement activities, said while presenting the initiative.