Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov promised a "mirror response" if Ukraine introduces a visa regime with Russia, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.
"When a torrent of mud pours on us; when our actors, and artists are declared persona non grata; when they take business away from Russian investors in the Ukrainian economy; when they start to talk seriously about the introduction of a visa regime; well, do you think we should just swallow all this and not respond? " Lavrov told journalists.
He stressed that Russia "does not have any black lists against Ukrainians," but if a visa regime were introduced, a mirror reaction would follow in response.
In late May, the Deputy Chairman of the People's Front faction in the Verkhovna Rada, Andriy Teteruk said that the introduction of a visa regime with Russia was "the next strategic issue that must be resolved in the Ukrainian parliament after Ukraine received a visa-free regime with the EU."
Prior to this, at the end of 2016, the Director of the Policy and Communications Department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleksii Makeiev, called the introduction of a visa regime with Russia inappropriate. According to him, Moscow's could implement potential reciprocal measures and that Ukraine could also lose a large number of Ukrainian citizens working in Russia, who could be offered Russian passports.
The Kremlin reacted negatively to the abolition of visas between the EU and Ukraine calling it a “carrot on a stick."
Ukraine and the EU agreed on visa-free cooperation; all necessary documents were then signed. These agreements will entitle Ukrainian citizens without visas to stay in the territory of the EU countries for more than 90 days from the date of arrival.