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The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed bill No. 7017 to amend the Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes of Ukraine regarding liability for illegal crossing of the state border.

The relevant decision was backed by 243 out of 343 MPs registered in the session hall, an UNIAN correspondent reported on October 18.

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The bill proposes to supplement the Criminal Code of Ukraine with Article 332-2 "Illegal crossing of the state border of Ukraine."

The document stipulates the crossing of Ukraine's state border to harm the country's interests is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years. This refers to persons who are denied entry to Ukraine and representatives of the armed forces' units or other law enforcement agencies of the aggressor state, who try to cross the state border of Ukraine by any means beyond official checkpoints or at checkpoints without proper travel documents or documents containing inaccurate information.

The same acts committed repeatedly or by a group of persons will entail imprisonment from three to five years.

Committing these acts combined with violence or the use of weapons will to be punished by imprisonment from five to eight years.

In addition, the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine envisages that investigators of security agencies shall carry out pre-trial investigations of crimes under the said article of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The document comes into force the day following the date of its publication.