BALI CRACKS DOWN ON RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN TOURISTS
The Indonesian island of Bali has called for the end of the issuing of visas-on-arrival for citizens of Russia and Ukraine.
Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops in 2022, about 22,500 tourists from the two countries have arrived on the island. According to the Indonesian government, this is the second biggest group of visitors after Australians.
The island’s authorities based their decision on a spate of alleged incidents involving various instances of visitors overstaying their visas and then working illegally. Some of the positions often filled by these people include taxi drivers, unauthorised tour guides and hairdressers.
The Ukrainians on the island insist the most of the incidents involve Russians and that they’re not being treated fairly as they’re being under the same spotlight.
A local police officer in Kuta told CNN that Russian tourists behave like they are above the law.
“Whenever we get reports about a foreigner behaving badly, it’s almost always Russian. Foreigners come to Bali but they behave like they are above the law. This has always been the case and it has to finally stop.”
Bali isn’t the only Southeast Asian island with an influx of Russian arrivals and consequent incidents. The island of Phuket, Thailand has reported a sudden increase of arrivals from Russia.
Many Russians have invested in property on the island and have therefore ensured their long-term stay.
Image credit: CNN