Russia Wednesday sanctioned Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida and other senior officials of the country, including journalists and professors.
The move came after Tokyo joined a list of countries that have taken punitive measures against Moscow for its ‘military campaign’ in Ukraine.
“The administration of F. Kishida launched an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign (and) allows unacceptable rhetoric against the Russian Federation; including slander and direct threats,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and defence minister Nobuo Kishi are also on the list of those sanctioned by Russia.
“The sanctions bar the targeted individuals from entering Russia indefinitely,” Moscow said.
Russia calls its attack on Ukraine a ‘special military operation’ to ‘demilitarise’ and ‘denazify’ Ukraine.
Kyiv and its Western allies reject that as a false pretext for an illegal war and acts of aggression.
This is a list of prominent world leaders targeted by Russia so far:
Russia last month slapped a travel ban on United States vice president Kamala Harris in response to sanctions imposed by the US over the Kremlin’s ‘military operations’ in Ukraine.
The travel ban covered 27 other US officials, including senior Pentagon figures, American business leaders, and journalists, according to the Russian foreign ministry, which said the ban would remain in effect ‘in perpetuity’.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also been targeted by Russian sanctions.
Facebook and Instagram – part of Zuckerberg’s Meta empire – were earlier banned by Russia which branded the platforms ‘extremist’ organisations.
US defence officials, including Pentagon spokesman John Kirby and deputy secretary of defence Kathleen Hicks; also feature on Russia’s list, AFP reported.
In the same list Russia also served 61 Canadian citizens; – including several government officials and, again, journalists – with the ‘indefinite’ travel ban.
Earlier, British prime minister Boris Johnson; – who has frequently voiced his support for Ukraine – and several top UK ministers were banned for their ‘unprecedented hostile actions’ of imposing sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.
The so-called ‘stop list’ issued by Moscow also included Indian-origin ministers – UK chancellor Rishi Sunak, home secretary Priti Patel and attorney general Suella Braverman; – as well as deputy UK prime minister Dominic Raab, foreign secretary Liz Truss and defence secretary Ben Wallace.