2020-09-16 10:45:00

Ukraine unable to let in additional numbers of Hasidic pilgrims due to current situation - Foreign Ministry

Kiev, September 16, Interfax - The current situation does not allow the admittance of an additional number of Hasidic pilgrims to Ukraine, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin said.

"The current situation does not allow us to let into Ukraine an additional number of Hasids, who have gathered on the border with Belarus. We keep explaining the situation together with colleagues from other agencies, and the response has actually been quite adequate. We have not observed any significant violations of public peace," Yenin said on the Ukraine 24 television channel on Wednesday.

"At this moment, we operate primarily on the basis of normative documents approved by the government, as well as national interests of Ukraine," he said.

The authorities are in control of the situation, and "very thorough measures [are being taken in Uman] to ensure maximum safety of the pilgrims, who entered Ukraine before the ban was imposed," Yenin said.

"They will be provided with food and medical service. Their contacts with the local population will be minimized; we are planning additional testing to calm down the local population and to convince people that every possible measure has been taken to contain the spreading of Covid-19," he said.

As reported, hundreds of Hasidic pilgrims wishing to get to Ukraine's Uman city to celebrate Rosh Hashanah have gathered near the Novi Yarylovychi - Novaya Guta checkpoint.

Belarusian border guards let the pilgrims out of the country, but they were not allowed to enter the territory of Ukraine due to the restrictions on foreign citizens and stateless persons' entry into the country imposed in order to counter the coronavirus spread.

The Belarusian State Border Committee said earlier on Tuesday that more than 700 people, including over 100 children, have gathered at the Novi Yarylovychi - Novaya Guta checkpoint in anticipation of being allowed to enter Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross has said that it had transferred rapid response teams to the scene.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko tasked the government with reaching an agreement with Ukraine on opening a green corridor for Hasidic pilgrims, who have been unable to travel from Belarus to holy sites in Ukraine.