As a result of effective cooperation between the Ukrainian Information Ministry, Ukrainian Justice Ministry and Ukrainian human rights watchdogs, the entry procedure to occupied Crimea may get streamlined for representatives of foreign media and human rights watchdogs as early as September.

“The procedure will get simplified due to effective interaction between government and public agencies, and primarily in information space, ‘emphasized Sergey Kostinsky, Adviser to Information Policy Minister on matters of Crimean information policy.

“Streamlining the entry procedure for journalists and human rights activists is in full compliance with Ukraine’s national interests. Independent foreign journalists, who respect Ukrainian laws, acknowledge the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and are committed to covering the situation with human rights, freedom of speech and press, should be working in Crimea,” said Sergey Kostinsky.

According to Sergey Petuhov, Deputy Minister of Justice, the current entry procedure has proved to be too restrictive for foreigners and individuals without citizenship. This has to do with the fact that applying for a special permit authorizing entry to Crimea has turned out to be too complicated and the criteria for its granting too few.

“Foreign journalists and human rights activists were unable to visit Crimea to provide objective coverage of the situation there,” said Sergey Petuhov. “The Justice Ministry has decided to set up a coordination committee responsible for protecting Ukrainian citizens’ rights in Crimea. The committee’s first and foremost task will be to submit proposals on alterations in the current procedure. If it works promptly, the proposals can be submitted for consideration of the Cabinet of Ministers as early as September”, Petrov was reported as saying.

On August 3, 2015, the Information Ministry held a press conference at UNIAN Ukrinform news agency called ‘Human rights watchdogs demanding that the entry procedure to Crimea be streamlined’.