There is a share of problems on the new Crimean border. People have difficulties crossing this border because of unclear legislation, lack of coordination between different agencies and undeveloped customs infrastructure. Crossing point between Kherson and Crimea is now a hot spot for criminals.
A round table was conducted in Kherson to discuss ways of fighting rampant corruption and illegal traffic on the border. This round table was initiated by “IDP union” public organization. Among participants: internally displaced people from Crimea, representatives of Presidential Administration, State border and custom services, other public organizations and local activists.
How to control borders of occupied territories? Crimean border because of Russian aggression has become de facto an inter-State border. Oleksandr Zhdanenko, head of border control department, noted that international regulations cannot apply in this case. Ukraine does not accept the annexation of Crimea but has to protect its borders and learn how to deal with enemy forces in Crimea. Armed separatists try to cross the border and infiltrate Kherson region. Ukraine has to secure this perimeter.
One of the main issues is children transfers. Oleksandr Zhdanenko stressed that the State cannot guarantee child safety on Crimean territories. Parents need to be extra vigilant when traveling in Crimea with their children. Another difficulty is the transfer of newborns from Crimea to Ukraine. Parents cannot get a Ukrainian birth certification in Crimea, so they have to travel to Kyiv to get the papers. However, without Ukrainian birth certificate they cannot cross the border with their baby. Children born after Crimean annexation are de facto in an illegal situation.
Problems with documents and traffic police corruption
Volodymyr Lyashenko, executive director of “IDP union” public organization, turned attention to traffic police corruption problems. Traffic policemen use unclear legal situation to their advantage and harass drivers for money. Iskander Bariev, member of Medjilis, told more about corruption (cf. video).
Crimean Tatars who participated in round table also turned attention to economical problems. Indeed, as of now, Crimea was declared “free economic zone” by Ukraine. If Russia follows this “trend”, Crimea will soon become an obscure off-shore. Right now, tones of counterfeit goods cross Crimean border without any restrictions. 150 trucks cross this border daily. Iskander Bariev thinks that the Law on free economic zone in Crimea should be canceled. It is only profitable for criminals and smugglers.
New crimes ahead
Crimeans face another problem. Persons who have served their time in prison in Crimea cannot return to Ukraine. They receive Russian documents after their liberation. And Russian documents delivered in Crimea are not recognized by Ukraine.
Dmytro Ivanov, deputy head of regional Kherson department of migration, informed that 18 persons from Crimea asked for help to return to Ukraine after incarceration. They are waiting for a solution to their situation. For now, they have nowhere to go, nowhere to live and no money to sustain themselves. We fear it will push them to return to criminal activities.
Participants of the round table concluded on a resolution for Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Participants request to cancel the Law on free economic zone in Crimea and to create a special Ministry or institution to take care of Crimean issues.
- Crimeans are denied the issuance of passports: how to act
- Adaptation of IDPs in communities was discussed in Donetsk region
- Lawyer advised on how to make inheritance according to documents issued by occupation authorities
- The Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories presented a draft action plan for Crimea reintegration
- Human rights activists called names of persons involved in curtailing freedom of speech in Crimea