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Russia bans Boris Johnson and senior ministers over UK sanctions

Moscow has announced it is banning Boris Johnson and alongside 10 senior ministers and politicians from entering Russia in retaliation at UK sanctions.

It comes just days after the British government unveiled further measures aimed at targeting those “aiding and abetting” Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – now in its seventh week.

The action by Moscow was taken “in view of the unprecedented hostile action by the British government, in particular the imposition of sanctions against senior Russian officials”, the country’s foreign ministry said.

The entry blacklist includes Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, foreign secretary Liz Truss, defence secretary Ben Wallace, chancellor Rishi Sunak, former prime minister Theresa May, and Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The Kremlin added the move was in response to “London’s unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions for restricting our country and strangling the domestic economy”.

In March, similar measures were taken against the US president, Joe Biden, alongside the CIA chief William Burns, and the secretary of state, Anthony Blinken.

A UK government spokesperson said: “The UK and our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government’s reprehensible actions in Ukraine and calling for the Kremlin to stop the war. We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine.”

Since Russia’s illegal invasion began, the Foreign Office has imposed asset freezes on the Kremlin’s biggest banks, including Sberbank, military officers involved in the shelling of the besieged city of Mariupol, oligarchs and political officials.

This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as of 13 April

(Press Association Images)

Last week, in coordination with the EU, the UK imposed a string of new sanctions on 178 Russian separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, as the foreign secretary vowed to crackdown on those “aiding and abetting” Putin’s war machine.

The government has also been supplying defensive weapons to the Ukrainian government including anti-tank missiles, which have been used against Russian forces advancing on key cities.

“The British leadership is deliberately aggravating the situation surrounding Ukraine, pumping the Kyiv regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the behalf of NATO,” the Russian ministry added.

Mr Johnson’s government has come in for criticism for failing to crack down quickly enough on individual oligarchs and the flow of Russian “dirty money” connected to the UK.

But the Foreign Office said last week the UK has now sanctioned over 1,400 individuals and businesses – including over 100 oligarchs and family members – since the invasion of Ukraine began.

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