PETALING JAYA - Malaysians planning to study medicine in Crimea must still obtain visas and authorisation from Ukraine said the country's ambassador to Malaysia Ihor Humennyi.
He said the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation is neither recognised by the United Nations or Malaysia and students risked being caught in a quandary if they by-passed Ukraine's immigration laws.
"Crimea remains part of the Ukraine and students will need visas as well as Special Permission to enter Crimea," he said.
Humennyi said those who fly directly into Crimea via Moscow or through alternative means risked arrest and deportation if they are caught at Ukraine's borders.
He said the Special Permission requirement was imposed recently to prevent the flow of illegal arms and separatists into Crimea.
He gave his assurances that Malaysian medical students would have no problem getting the Special Permission.
However, he pointed out that the situation in Crimea was volatile and he advised students to opt for universities in other parts of Ukraine.
"There are at least five other medical schools in Ukraine which are recognised by the Malaysian Medical Council," he said.
Humennyi said some 2,000 Malaysians had studied in Crimea over the last decade.
He said based on their records, only a handful of Malaysian students remained in Crimea.
"We are ready to help these students should the need arise.
"We hope they are able to graduate," he said.