Putin bans Johnson and Truss from Russia over 'hostile' stance on Ukraine war

16 April 2022, 10:43 | Updated: 16 April 2022, 11:48

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss (right) are among a list of British ministers and MPs who have been blacklisted from Russia.
Boris Johnson and Liz Truss (right) are among a list of British ministers and MPs who have been blacklisted from Russia. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Russia has banned Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior UK ministers from entering the country over their "hostile" stance on the war in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin has slapped sanctions on Mr Johnson and a number of other UK Government members and politicians, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

In a statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry said it is introducing the sanctions because of the "unprecedented hostile" action by the British Government.

"This step was taken as a response to London's unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions for restricting our country and strangling the domestic economy."

Moscow threatened to expand the list "soon", saying it will follow up with entry bans on British MPs, who "incite the Neo-Nazi Kiev regime" and claimed that Britain's Russophobia is detrimental to the British people.

The Prime Minister tops the list of UK subjects no longer allowed to enter the Russian Federation, alongside Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Ben Wallace, Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps and Priti Patel.

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is also listed, along with former Prime Minister Theresa May, who authorised sanctions after the Salisbury poison incident in 2018.

Moscow has warned Western allies against supplying weapons to Ukraine and is threatening to ramp up missile attacks on the country's capital, Kyiv.

It comes after the Russian warship Moskva sunk in the Black Sea, with Ukraine claiming its forces were responsible for its downfall.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's ministry of internal affairs, said on Telegram hat the ship's captain, Anton Kuprin, who ordered the bombing of soldiers on Snake Island, had died.

The Russian flagship sunk following what Ukraine says was a missile strike, but the Kremlin has said the cruiser sank in "stormy seas" after a fire on board.

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A western official told reporters on Thursday that damage to the flagship - regardless of how it was caused - would be an "enormous loss" to the country's military credibility.

"I can't definitively tell you exactly what has happened... but I am not aware previously of a fire onboard a capital warship which has led to the ammunition magazine exploding as a consequence," they said.

"Were that to have been the case - were it just to have been an accident - it's a remarkably inept piece of control by the Russian military. And I find it difficult to believe that that would have been the case in this instance.

"So the claim by the Ukrainian forces, I think, is credible."

Russia claims all sailors were "successfully evacuated" from the ship after the fire but video taken in Sevastopol overnight shows dozens of cars purportedly belonging to the sailors still parked in the port.

Ilya Ponomarev, a politician exiled from Russia for opposing Putin's 2014 annexation of Crimea, said just 58 of the 510-strong crew have since been accounted for, but this claim cannot be verified.