British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other British cabinet members have reportedly been blacklisted by the Kremlin and banned from entering Russia in response to sanctions against the country.
Johnson, Secretary of State Liz Truss, Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace, Attorney General Dominic Raab and former Prime Minister Theresa May are said to be on the list, according to the Russian news agency Tass.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement the move followed “unprecedented hostile actions by the UK government, particularly in the imposition of sanctions on top officials” in Russia.
It added: “The Russophobic approach of the British authorities, whose main goal is to foment a negative attitude towards our country, restricting bilateral relations in almost all areas, harms the well-being and interests of the residents of Great Britain sanctions attack will inevitably on their initiators fight back and receive a decisive rejection.”
It comes as Russian troops have resumed attacks on the Ukrainian capital after a brief respite.
A UK government spokesman said: “Britain and our international partners join forces to condemn the Russian government’s reprehensible actions in Ukraine and call on the Kremlin to end the war. We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, at home, a former cabinet minister said the Homes for Ukraine program, which allows households to host war refugees, is “bumpy” and visa processing is taking too long.
Robert Jenrick, who was previously a community secretary, revealed his family is home to a Ukrainian mother and her two children.
He is among the first MPs who managed to bring a Ukrainian family to Britain. Tory North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker announced earlier this month that he has taken in a mother and her son.
But Mr Jenrick said the process by which Maria, 40, and her two children, Bohdan, 15, and Khrystyna, 11, arrived in the UK was “traumatic”. Her father stayed in Ukraine to fight in the war.
UK Environment Secretary Victoria Prentis last month took in a 25-year-old Ukrainian refugee under a separate visitor visa scheme, while other MPs and ministers said they had applied to host families.
Mr Jenrick told the Telegraph’s Chopper politics podcast: “It’s been a very difficult experience for her. Even the experience of coming here was traumatic.
“They spent seven hours queuing at the Polish border before finally being able to leave Ukraine, catch the flight to the UK, and the experiences they and their relatives have had in different parts of the country over the past two or three years three months is really devastating.”
Of the process, he said: “To be honest, the start of the program was a bumpy one. It took too long to get visas, for us it took about three weeks to get all three visas approved.
“And so there are people who are frustrated, it’s tried the patience of sponsors and more importantly the families and individuals themselves.
“But having been involved in some programs not dissimilar to this one in the past, like the Hong Kong program, the Syrian program, the Afghan program as a minister, as a community secretary, I know that. But I think we’re getting over it become those bumps, we’re getting over them now.”
Mr Jenrick said the program as it stood was “overly bureaucratic”.
He added: “There were simple things we could and should have done from the start, like having the form in Ukrainian.
“And I’m not sure you need to screen minors who are extremely unlikely to pose a threat to this country.”
He said some security checks were needed, but added: “The checks have to be done quickly and in this case I’m afraid it took too long.”
Mr Jenrick said he has not yet received the £350 he is due to take in the family but if it is offered he will either not accept it or will pass it directly to the refugees.
“So far… it’s been very rewarding to see them finally feel safe after a very traumatic experience and start to stabilize and rebuild their lives,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/boris-johnson-and-british-cabinet-ministers-banned-from-russia-41559148.html Boris Johnson and British cabinet ministers banned from Russia