30 Apr 2020 13:24

Ban on foreign citizens entering Russia to remain in effect indefinitely - directive

MOSCOW. April 30 (Interfax) - A temporary ban barring foreign citizens and stateless persons from entering Russia has been extended indefinitely.

Earlier reports said the ban was valid from March 18 until May 1.

The initial document has been amended, according to a government directive published in the official databank of legal information on Thursday. The phrase "until 12:00 a.m. local time on May 1, 2020," has been removed from the initial directive. There is now no indication as to when the ban might be lifted.

The new directive points out that the ban does not apply to participants in the state program promoting voluntary resettlement of compatriots and their families to Russia or to persons who set up and service foreign-made equipment.

According to the document, the temporary ban on crossing the Russian border through checkpoints, which has been in effect since March 30, does not apply to "Russian citizens who also have foreign citizenship, foreign residence permits, or another valid document attesting their right to permanent residence in a foreign state performing a single entry into Russia and heading to the place of their permanent residence."

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Wednesday that the ban on foreign citizen entering Russia has been extended until after stabilization of the coronavirus situation.

"The ban on foreign citizens entering our country was in effect until April 30. I've signed a government directive extending this period until after the battle against the infection has ended and the epidemiological situation improves," Mishustin said at a meeting of the Presidium of the Coordination Council for Coronavirus Response on Wednesday.

However, "the ban will not apply to certain categories of foreign citizens," including specialists who set up and provide technical maintenance to imported equipment, he said. This measure will reduce the negative impact of restrictions on Russian industries, including those manufacturing equipment for fighting coronavirus, Mishustin said.

The prime minister said there is no telling when exactly the coronavirus-related restrictions, including the ban on crossing the Russian border, may be lifted.