16 Mar 2020 23:37

Russia to restrict entry of foreign citizens, stateless persons from March 18 until May 1 - govt

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin briefed the heads of government of various countries on the decision to restrict temporarily the entry to Russia for foreign citizens and stateless persons starting from midnight on March 18, 2020.

Mishustin had phone conversations with Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas (twice), as well as with Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Asadov, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziyev, Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, and with Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov over the past two days, the Russian government website said in a statement.

"At the talks, the parties discussed the situation surrounding the new coronavirus infection. Mikhail Mishustin told the heads of government that in order to ensure national security, protect the health of local residents and prevent the coronavirus infection spread in line with Russian legislation and the provisions of Russian international agreements, the Government of the Russian Federation decided to restrict temporarily the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons to the Russian Federation starting at 12 a.m. local time on March 18, 2020 until 12 a.m. local time on May 1, 2020," the statement said.

The restriction on the entry to Russia will not be applied to staff members of diplomatic missions and consulates in Russia, drivers of vehicles of international automobile communications, crews of aircraft, marine and river vessels, train and locomotive crews of international railway communications, members of official delegations and persons who have diplomatic, service, and ordinary individual visas, which were issued following the death of a close relative, persons who permanently live in Russia, as well as to transit passengers travelling via air hubs.

"In the phone conversations, Mikhail Mishustin said that Russia's current measures meet the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and are caused by extraordinary circumstances and are totally temporary," the statement said.

The heads of government agreed to maintain contacts on the issues related to a threat of further spread of the new coronavirus infection. In addition, the parties addressed certain issues of bilateral relations of mutual interest in the phone calls, the statement said.