Russia on Monday said it was blacklisting 39 high profile British citizens, including Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, former prime minister David Cameron and journalist and TV host Piers Morgan, Dailymail is reporting.
The UK has been one of Kyiv’s most loyal supporters after Russian president Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, and a slew of British commentators have expressed their unfavourable opinion of the Kremlin chief.
Russia’s foreign ministry said the citizens listed, most of whom were politicians, government employees and journalists, ‘contribute to the hostile course of London aimed at the demonisation of our country and its international isolation’.
‘The choice in favour of confrontation is the conscious decision of the British political establishment, which bears all responsibility for the consequences,’ the ministry added.
Moscow has banned several dozen British citizens – mostly politicians and journalists – from entering Russia since the start of its military campaign in Ukraine.
The new additions include several Labour MPs, Scottish politicians and members of the House of Lords.
Meanwhile, the likes of Jonathan Munro – the head of the BBC’s newsgathering – BBC News presenter Huw Edwards and ITV’s political editor Robert Peston joined Piers Morgan on the list of British media figures now blacklisted.
‘[Russia] wasn’t on my vacation to-do list,’ Morgan quipped on Twitter upon learning of the ban.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it would keep adding to the list which now includes more than 200 prominent Britons.
‘Given London’s destructive drive to spin the sanctions flywheel on far-fetched and absurd pretexts, work on expanding the Russian stop-list will continue,’ it said in a statement.
Separately, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office said it had declared the Calvert 22 Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in London, to be an ‘undesirable organisation’.
‘It has been established that its activity poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation,’ it said in a statement.
No comment was immediately available from the organisation, which was founded in 2009 by Russian-born economist Nonna Materkova and focuses on arts and culture in Russia and eastern Europe.