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NEWS BRIEFS

Hamzik: Slovakia is considering visas for Ukrainians and Russians

Slovak deputy Prime Minister for integration Pavol Hamzik said the introduction of visas for Russian and Ukrainian citizens is under consideration, in part to attempt to limit the influence of Mafia members flowing in from those countries.

In a press conference, Hamzik said he does not expect any official negative reaction if Slovakia adopts tougher conditions for the citizens of Russia and Ukraine to enter Slovakia. Hamzik underlined that such a move would have to be thoroughly considered and justified, and that Russia and Ukraine would be consulted before a new visa regime would be implemented.

On June 7, Slovak Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner announced that the Ukrainian Mafia is trying to further its influence in the politics of the countries in which it operates, including Slovakia. He said that Mafia members were in contact with a former Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) deputy three years ago. Pittner alleged that there is also Mafia infiltration in the Slovak media.

The day before, Pittner said, police detained an organized group of Ukrainians, who had in their possession suspicious documents on privatised companies in Slovakia and internal documents of some firms, including lists of owners and executives.

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