Russia will suspend entry of Chinese citizens to its territory starting from Feb. 20 in response to the growing threat of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), Russia's Prime Minister Mijail Mishustin decreed Tuesday.
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The Vice-Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, head of the crisis cabinet to prevent the coronavirus infection, announced the measure. This policy includes those who traveled under private, educative, labor and touristic purposes.
The acceptance and issuance of applications, documents, registration and invitation emissions to enter the Russian Federation will be suspended. Chinese President Xi Jinping supported the preventive measures and expressed assurance on its effectiveness.
Golíkova's office explained that the decision took into account the “deterioration of China's epidemiologic situation and the continuous entrance of Chinese citizens in Russian Federation territory.”
Since January Russia took similar preventive actions to limit possible spread of the disease as it closed down its eastern border with the Asian giant. Russia receives numerous Chinese travelers who enter into the country for labor or tourism motives, mainly to Siberia.
Also, Chinese nationals frequently use Russian airports as transit points to European countries.
During the new ambassador's credentials presentation in Moscow, Russia's President Vladimir Putin affirmed Tuesday that his country will offer assistance to Beijing to contain and eradicate the infection.
The new coronavirus, first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late December, as of Tuesday has killed more than 2,000 people and infected more than 75,000 worldwide.