Russia bans 54 British nationals from entering country

Russia’s foreign ministry claimed the sanctions were ‘in the context of London’s unrelenting military support for the Kyiv neo-Nazi regime’.

Russia bans 54 UK nationals from entering country including BBC journalists and UK Government minister PA Media

UK ministers, journalists, media representatives and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court are among 54 British nationals to have been banned from entering Russia.

BBC journalist Ros Atkins, known for his popular explainer-style videos, is among those included on the list, along with culture secretary Lucy Frazer and reporters from The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph newspapers.

The Guardian said the move demonstrated Moscow’s “disregard for a free and fair press”.

Karim Khan KC, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), also features on the so-called “stop list”.

Russia in May put Khan on its wanted list after the ICC two months earlier issued a war crimes warrant for President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of bearing personal responsibility for the abduction of children from Ukraine.

The Kremlin’s Foreign Ministry said the latest sanctions list was “in the context of London’s unrelenting military support for the Kyiv neo-Nazi regime”.

Ms Frazer, who is set to represent the UK Government at the Women’s World Cup final featuring England versus Spain on Sunday in Sydney, Australia, was targeted for “actively lobbying for the international sports isolation of Russia”, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The Cabinet minister has previously lobbied for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be excluded from international sport, including at next year’s Olympics in Paris, in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Defence minister Baroness Goldie was the other Government figure placed on the list, with the ministry saying she was “responsible for the supply of weapons to Ukraine, including depleted uranium shells”.

The UK has been one of Kyiv’s strongest allies, with the House of Commons Library suggesting £4.6 billion in military assistance has been provided to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces since the invasion broke out in February 2022.

Among the dozens of journalists and media representatives barred from travelling to Russia are BBC News’ analysis editor Atkins, BBC News’ chief executive Deborah Turness and the corporation’s disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring.

Defence minister Baroness Goldie is among the 54 Britons on Moscow’s so-called ‘stop list’.PA Media

Guardian correspondents Julian Borger and Daniel Boffey feature, along with Keith Underwood, the Guardian Media Group’s chief financial and operating officer, and the group’s chairman Charles Gurassa.

Journalist David Knowles was among those listed who work for The Daily Telegraph.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the journalists and senior media industry officials of being “involved in the fabrication of anti-Russian libels for promotion in the media space and in the dissemination of false information about our country”.

“They strive to prevent and suppress attempts to objectively cover events in Ukraine, to eliminate signs of dissent using the methods described by George Orwell in 1984 and Animal Farm,” the statement continued.

A Guardian spokesman said: “In banning Guardian journalists and executives, the Russian government is simply demonstrating its disregard for a free and fair press.

“Guardian journalism is highly trusted the world over, and we will continue to report robustly on Russia and its invasion of Ukraine.”

A BBC spokeswoman, asked about the corporation’s journalists being targeted by Moscow, said: “We will continue to report independently and fairly.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Telegraph Media Group have been contacted for comment.

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