Spanish consul swims across Kerch Strait in violation of Ukraine's ban

Spain’s Honorary Consul in Uzbekistan Alfonso Lopez Pandiella participated in the Russian X-Waters competition on June 1, swimming across the Kerch Strait from the Chushka Spit, in the Krasnodar Territory of Russia, to the Yeni-Kale fortress in Kerch, reported Radio Svoboda.

Pandiella confirmed this fact to journalists but declined to comment on whether the organizers had warned him about the consequences of visiting the annexed Crimea.

“I don’t know. No comment,” he said.

The diplomat also confirmed that he is an honorary consul and is not a civil servant in Spain.

The State Border Service of Ukraine issued a reminder that visiting Russian annexed Crimea violated entry rules for crossing the Ukrainian state border.

“Such foreigners would be prohibited from entering Ukraine for at least three years. The fine is upwards of 5,100 hryvnias and if this violation was committed by a group of persons, anywhere from 5,100 hryvnias,” said Andrei Demchenko, head of the SBGS department for media relations.

After the annexation, Ukraine closed all international checkpoints on the peninsula. It is legal to get to the peninsula only through the entry and exit points on the administrative border with the Kherson region. Violators face deportation and a fine.

  Ukraine, Kerch Strait Bridge, Crimea, Spain, Russia, Kerch Strait