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Scottish ministers among those barred from Russia in new wave of sanctions

Scottish ministers among those barred from Russia in new wave of sanctions
The Russian foreign ministry released a list of people no longer allowed into the country.

The Russian government has barred a number of Scottish politicians from the country in response to aid given to Ukraine following the invasion.

In a statement on Monday, the Russian foreign ministry said the additions to the country’s “stop list” were due to “continued application by the UK Government of the mechanism of sanctions” against Russians.

Holyrood Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson and Ukraine minister Neil Gray were all placed on the list.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes was among those sanctioned by Russia (Jane Barlow/PA)
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes was among those sanctioned by Russia (Jane Barlow/PA)

SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop was also sanctioned but was mistakenly described as “Scottish cabinet secretary for economic, labour and cultural affairs” – Ms Hyslop was economy, fair work and culture secretary until last year.

On Twitter, Mr Robertson said: “The Russian foreign ministry clearly doesn’t like criticism of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and dislikes those who support Ukrainian freedom.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Scottish Green co-leader – and Scottish Government minister – Lorna Slater and her fellow Green MSP Ross Greer have also been placed on the list, as has Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton.

Responding to the news, Ms Slater said: “Vladimir Putin’s outrageous and illegal invasion of Ukraine has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions more people.

“If the cost of speaking out against Putin’s war crimes is a ban on visiting Russia then I will live with these consequences, but I will not stop supporting Ukraine.”

While Mr Greer said: “Watching the bravery of the Ukrainian people in recent months has been absolutely inspiring.

“If the cost of speaking up for the rights of Ukraine, and condemning Putin’s war, is a ban from visiting Russia then I think I’ll be able to cope.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton said he would wear the ban as a “badge of honour”.

“One day, after Putin’s army has been defeated and his government swept away by the tides of history, I hope that I will have the chance to visit and meet with those who have bravely stood up against the Russian regime,” he said.

“Until that happens, I will wear this ban as a badge of honour.

“The UK must redouble its efforts to help Ukraine achieve victory on the battlefield, while here in Scotland, our Government must get serious about patching the holes in the refugee scheme and helping those who have fled to our shores.”

Nicola Sturgeon was similarly sanctioned earlier this year.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy and former Nato secretary general George Robertson were also among those banned from entering Russia.

A number of journalists were included in Monday’s sanctions, including Piers Morgan, BBC newsreader Huw Edwards and ITV journalist Robert Peston.