Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration will be imposing retaliatory visa restrictions on citizens from countries it has deemed unfriendly. The announcement was made by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday.
Lavrov said that the restrictions would affect countries on the “unfriendly countries” list that was released by Russia two weeks ago. He made the announcement while speaking with the United Russia party in Moscow.
“A draft of (a presidential) decree on visa measures in retaliation for unfriendly actions by a number of foreign countries is currently being prepared,” Lavrov told members of the United Russia party, Reuters reports.
The move will make it so that there are more restrictions for those wishing to enter Russia.
“I believe that this step will expand the tools to influence various categories of foreign citizens. First of all, against those who are involved in crimes against Russian citizens abroad,” Lavrov said. “Second, those who unjustly commit legal persecution against our people. And finally, those who make unreasonable decisions that violate the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organizations of the Russian Federation,” Lavrov told party members.
“The West does not hide the purpose of this confrontation, to destroy the Russian economy, undermine domestic political stability and, ultimately, significantly weaken Russia, push us to the sidelines of international life,” Lavrov added.
The unfriendly countries list includes the US, Canada, the UK, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, South Korea, as well as all members of the EU.
Yesterday, Russia also compiled a list of countries that were taking unfriendly action against Russia and her citizens. The visa restrictions are the latest in a string of countermeasures by the Russian government.