Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Russia Bars Entry of 25 UK Officials in Reciprocal Move to London Sanctions

Sat 21 Nov 2020 | 03:38 PM

On Saturday, Russia banned the entry of 25 British officials, responding to London's sanctions over the Magnitsky case, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

In a statement, the spokesman added, "In response to the unfriendly actions of the British authorities and on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, the Russian side made a decision to impose personal sanctions against 25 British representatives who are barred from entering Russia."

In July, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the first wave of sanctions under the so-called "Magnitsky amendment" to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, targeting 49 inpiduals and entities from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and North Korea.

Those targeted include Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the powerful Investigative Committee that reports directly to President Vladimir Putin.

Magnitsky, a tax consultant for British financier William Browder, died in prison of untreated illness in 2009 after accusing Russian officials of a $230-million tax fraud.

Russia rejected the claims and convicted Magnitsky of fraud, having put him on trial posthumously.

Zakharova said that the ultimate aim of the penalties was to "exert pressure on the Russian justice system.

Russia has been hit with a series of sanctions by Western countries over a series of disagreements.

They include the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, the alleged interference in elections abroad and the 2018 poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Britain.