Ukraine: Boarder Crossing Was Smooth!

Hello,

We found Ukraine to be a pleasure to travel. As always the people of Ukraine are friendly and helpful if need be. I myself find Ukrainians to be a little more expressive than Russians.

The border crossing at Belgorod, Russia was smooth and very fast. The last time we crossed a year ago by car, it took us hours. This time it was minutes and painless. Seems that Russia and Ukraine have worked on their boarder policies & they are much better.

The thing about border crossings is to be honest. If they ask you do you have weapons, drugs or artifacts. Be honest and show them what you have, if in doubt. Do not cross green line* unless you are sure that you are safe. They will and do check your trunks & bags for any illegal items. I also let my Russian Wife do the talking. My command of the language is poor at best & would only hurt more than help to try to communicate.

*Red line & Green line: When crossing a border you have two options to cross. Red mean you have declarations for your protection and will be searched for any and all items. Green means you have no declarations and may or may not be searched. If green is declared do not get caught with unlawful items. (it means you lied)

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Russian News: April 22nd, 2008!

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 17:59:56.Head of the Russian air force, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin, today denied any links of the Russian military aviation to the shooting-down of an unmanned aircraft in Abkhazia’s airspace. ”The Russian air force had nothing to do with it, we have absolutely no business on the territory where the incident took place,” he told journalists.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 17:23:10.President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin told journalists today that a decision on a VAT rate change must be made as soon as possible. Tax decisions should be made before a long-term program (until 2020) is approved and a three-year budget is presented to the State Duma, Shokhin noted. He was wary that tax changes would not be reflected in the three-year budget and, as a result, would not be implemented until 2012.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Sochi 16:28:45.Russia’s Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov assured the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission during today’s meeting that Sochi would be fully prepared for the 2014 Olympic Games. The PM pointed out that a presidential council responsible for preparations for the Olympics had been set up and that its presidium maintained strict control over the preparations. Combined with Russia’s economic and political stability, this gives confidence that an ultra-modern sports center, as well as an international resort will be built in Sochi, Zubkov noted.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 16:00:46.Less than an hour and a half before the close of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the weighted average exchange rate stood at 23.39 RUB/USD, RUB 0.04 lower than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for April 23. The current developments on MICEX can be attributed to the dollar’s continuous decline against the euro on international exchanges. The latter is now trading at roughly USD 1.5940, up from around USD 1.5930 as of 3 p.m. Consequently, the European currency has advanced some 0.1 percent against the dollar on the global market over a short period.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 15:56:29.Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited the leaders of the CIS countries to participate in the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum scheduled for June 6-8, the Russian President’s press office reported today. Among the forum’s main topics will be “National Economic Interests versus Global Governance Institutions” and “SWOT Analysis of the Russian Economy – Global Challenges and Opportunities up to 2020”. Putin also offered the CIS heads of state to hold an informal meeting as part of the forum program.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 15:31:31.The Russian stock market could continue to consolidate for several days, experts told RBC TV. Later, driven by a weaker dollar and rising commodity markets, Russian stocks are likely to rise, particularly the oil sector. LUKoil and Tatneft remain investors’ favorites among oil companies, performing better than the market. Gazprom is also said to start gaining ground soon.

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