The Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna H. Laoly, is quoted by the State News Agency Antara, saying that the recommendation by Bali’s Governor for the Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) facility to be revoked for Ukrainian and Russian visitors to Indonesia.
Laoly reminded the future of the VoA for Russians and Ukrainians can only be determined after discussions with several interested parties.
The Minister’s comments were made during a visit to Nusa Dua on Friday, 31 March 2023.
During his Bali visit, Yasonna H. Laoly said: “The Governor (Bali) has sent a letter, and any decision must be jointly made with several ministries and related agencies. Soon, I will invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Tourism, The Minister of Transportation, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Provincial Government of Bali, the Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), and the Association of Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) to consider a joint decision.”
The Minister said he could not unilaterally set VoA policy for Russian and Ukrainian citizens. Any decision to revoke this facility will affect the tourism sector and Indonesia’s bilateral relations with many nations. Adding: “Indonesian (tourism) is not only about Russia and Ukraine, and there are many other tourists, such as Australians. Because of this, we need to jointly discuss (any policy change) comprehensively.”
Addressing reports of many violations of the law by foreigners in Bali, Yasonna said that immigration officials, provincial police, and provincial authorities are participating in monitoring teams (Timpora) and supervising and taking action against problematic foreigners.
Earlier, Bali Governor Wayan Koster recommended to the Minister of Law and Human Rights and the Minister of Foreign Affairs the revocation of the VoA facility for Russian and Ukrainian tourists. Bali authorities have claimed that many Russians are actively evading the military draft in their homeland by extending their stay on the Island.
Governor Koster also insists that many Ukrainian and Russian visitors to Bali use the VoA to work illegally and violate other local laws. Koster alleges that law violations by Russians and Ukrainians far exceed those committed by nationals of other countries.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Justice for Russia, Konstantin Anatolievich Chuychenko, has separately stated that the availability of the VoA for Russian visitors to Indonesia not only eases tourist travel but also facilitates international cooperation, especially in areas such as law enforcement actions against international crime.
The Russian state minister pointed out that the number of Russian tourists now visiting Indonesia is less than that in the pre-pandemic period.
Pledging he was ready to help promote Russian tourism to Indonesia, Chuychenko said the close friendship between Russia and Indonesia obliged his Country to do all possible so tourism visitor numbers could be soon doubled.
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