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

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

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.

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.

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

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.

Mr Blackford said: “The Russian regime’s brutal invasion of Ukraine must be challenged and the war crimes it is committing in the country must be held to account.

“The SNP will continue to stand up and oppose Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine and we welcome the sanctions that have been imposed so far.

“However, it must not stop there and we will continue to urge the UK Government to take the steps it can to go further against individuals and institutions of key economic and strategic interest to the Russian government.

“The SNP Scottish Government is proud to play its part in supporting our Ukrainian friends, including through aid and the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees.

“We must be united in the face of President Putin’s aggression and the co-ordinated solidarity shown for Ukraine must and cannot waiver.”

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.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting