Nicola Sturgeon has been banned from Russia as Vladimir Putin’s regime launches its retaliation against the UK over sanctions.
The First Minister was issued with the ban along with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a number of senior UK Government figures.
In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry claimed that British leaders had been “aggravating the situation around Ukraine” by providing Ukraine with weapons.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, home secretary Priti Patel and foreign secretary Liz Truss have also all been banned.
US President Joe Biden was similar issued with a ban by Russia last month.
The full list announced by Russia is:
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson,
- Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
- Foreign secretary Liz Truss
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak
- Home secretary Priti Patel
- Defence secretary Ben Wallace,
- Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab
- Transport secretary Grant Shapps,
- Energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng,
- Culture minister Nadine Dorries,
- Armed forces minister James Heappey
- Attorney general Suella Braverman,
- Former Prime Minister Theresa May.
In its statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said: “London’s unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions for containing our country and strangling the domestic economy” were responsible for its decision.
It added: “In essence, the British leadership is deliberately aggravating the situation around Ukraine, pumping the Kyiv regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the part of Nato.”
In response to the ban, Nicola Sturgeon insisted that Scotland stands with Ukraine.
“Putin is a war criminal and I will not shy away from condemning him and his regime,” she said.
“Scotland is determined to take the strongest possible action to isolate and penalise his regime, and do everything possible to support the people of Ukraine.
“We must make sure that those on the side of freedom and democracy work together to ensure Putin’s regime, and his network of oligarchs, are as isolated as possible.
“International condemnation – not just in words but in actions – against Russia must be as strong as possible.
“It falls to every leader to choose a side in this unprovoked aggression. I am clear that I stand with Ukraine and against Putin. And Scotland is clear – we all stand with Ukraine.”