Moldova and Ukraine have announced a return to the visa regime with Israel

In response to the ETA-IL electronic visa system introduced by Israel from June 1

Молдова и Украина объявили о возврате к визовому режиму с Израилем

Alexander Roitman, the country’s ambassador to Israel, spoke about plans to abolish the visa-free regime. This will affect thousands of pilgrims who travel to Uman every year through the territory of Moldova. The new system of pre-entry applications to Israel for visa-free countries is called ETA-IL. Since June 1, it has been operating in test mode for tourists from Germany and the USA. And from August 1 it will be mandatory for everyone. The e-visa will be free for the first year, then you will have to pay 25 shekels each. However, it still does not guarantee that a person will be allowed into the country.Eyal Siso, Director General of the Population and Immigration Department, called ETA-IL “a real revolution in the field of services provided by the department to foreigners wishing to visit Israel as tourists.” But the foreigners themselves do not share his enthusiasm. “The ETA-IL system will affect Moldovan travelers to Israel, many of whom work for Israeli companies, and will actually unilaterally lead to the termination of the visa—free regime with the Republic of Moldova by the State of Israel,” Ambassador Alexander Roitman said today. “In response, in order to protect the rights of its citizens, the Republic of Moldova considers itself obliged to introduce a similar pre—approval system for Israeli citizens.” Roitman mentioned that the visa-free regime between the countries had been in effect for 10 years, which all started with the unilateral cancellation of visas by Moldova in 2011, and a bilateral agreement followed in 2014.Following Moldova, Ukraine will introduce entry restrictions for Israeli citizens in response to changes in the visa-free regime policy. This was announced on Friday, June 21, by the Ukrainian Embassy on social networks. “From July 1, citizens of countries with visa-free access to Israel, including Ukraine, must apply for a residence permit for up to 90 days. Recent Israeli actions, such as the denial of entry to many Ukrainians, have strained bilateral relations. The latter requirement actually cancels the visa—free regime,” the embassy said in a statement. As a retaliatory measure, Ukraine will impose similar requirements on Israeli citizens. This decision (it has not been made yet, but it will be made quickly) is expected to affect thousands of pilgrims who regularly visit Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities have expressed their readiness for dialogue with Israel to resolve the differences that have arisen.

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