Boris Johnson banned from Russia
Moscow has placed 13 members of the British government – including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Minister Liz Truss – on a “stop list” that bars them from entering Russia. The move comes as a response to “unprecedented hostile actions” and an “unbridled” political and media campaign aimed at isolating Russia, the Foreign Ministry has said in a statement on Saturday.
Russia has also accused London of “pumping” Kiev full of lethal arms and coordinating such actions with other NATO members. The UK has also been “instigating” its Western allies and other nations to impose massive sanctions against Russia, Moscow has said, calling such actions “unacceptable” and brushing off the restrictions introduced against Russia as “senseless and counterproductive.”
The policy of the British government, which the foreign ministry branded “Russophobic,” hurts the interests of the UK itself, it has argued, adding that it only leads to bilateral ties being cut in almost all fields, thus forcing Moscow to take reciprocal steps.
Moscow has introduced sanctions against roughly half of the British government, which currently has 23 ministerial departments. Health Secretary Sajid Javid, as well as the education, environment and international trade secretaries have not been added to Moscow’s “stop list” so far. The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned that the list would soon be “extended” as certain other “British politicians and MPs” contributing to “anti-Russian hysteria” would be added.
Earlier this week, Russia introduced similar sanctions against hundreds of members of the US Congress in a move that was called a tit-for-tat response following Washington’s decision to bar members of the State Duma and Russia’s Federal Assembly from entering the US.
Similar restrictions were also slapped on 87 Canadian senators in response to Ottawa’s earlier move to sanction members of the Russian Federation Council.
US President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were sanctioned by Moscow last month. The standoff between Moscow and NATO countries that has seen Russia become the world’s most sanctioned nation has followed the Kremlin’s decision to launch a large-scale offensive in Ukraine in late February.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.