Russia is closing its border to Ukrainian citizens living in the border regions between the two countries, the Ukrainian State Border Service announced in a statement.

"The Russian side is suspending the admittance of residents of border regions through local border crossings from 18:00 today,” the State Border Service said on Thursday.

Russian border guards said that this restriction would apply at the border crossings in the Kharkov, Sumy, and Lugansk region, which border the Belgorod and Voronezh regions of Russia.

The exceptions are the Ukrainian local border crossings Zhuravlyova and Aleksandrovka in the Kharkov region. "People can cross the border on foot there, and commuter buses will also be able to cross in Aleksandrovka," the statement said.

As reported, the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council instructed the Foreign Ministry on March 19 to begin admitting Russian citizens into Ukraine based on international passports within a few hours and introduce visas after some time. However, acting Prime Minister of Ukraine Arsenii Yatseniuk said on March 20 that Ukraine would not rush to introduce such measures.