Russia bans 25 UK diplomats in retaliation for sanctions

Russia on Saturday has barred 25 British diplomats in a move it described as a response to similar penalties imposed against Russian officials over alleged human rights abuses earlier this year.

The Russians had assets frozen in connection with the death of Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer who died in police custody in 2009 after he uncovered corruption linked to several high-level local officials.

Confrontations between the United Kingdom and Russia are becoming more frequent as relations worsen since the attempted assassination of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia at Salisbury in 2018. The British government identified Russian military intelligence (GRU) officers as responsible for the bungled operation.

In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said that “in response to the unfriendly actions of the British authorities and on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, the Russian side made a decision to impose personal sanctions against 25 British representatives who are barred from entering the Russian Federation.” Moscow did not name which U.K. diplomats would be affected.

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