RUSSIA: Russia said on Monday it was preparing to restrict entry into Russia for nationals of “unfriendly” countries, which include Britain, all EU states and the United States.
“A draft presidential decree is being developed on retaliatory visa measures in response to the ‘unfriendly’ actions of a number of foreign states,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in televised remarks.
“This act will introduce a number of restrictions on entry into Russia,” he added without elaborating. After the West piled unprecedented sanctions on Moscow following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops to pro-Western Ukraine, Russia expanded the list of what it calls “unfriendly” countries.
They now include the United States, Australia, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, all EU member states and several others.
Russian carriers have been banned from the airspace of the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States and travel to and from Russia is now limited.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told PBS in an interview on Monday that Russia would resort to nuclear weapons only in the case of a “threat to the existence” of his country – and not as a result of the current conflict with Ukraine.
“But any outcome of the operation (in Ukraine), of course is not a reason for usage of a nuclear weapon,” Peskov said.
“We have a security concept that very clearly states that only when there is a threat for existence of the state, in our country, we can use and we will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat for the existence of our country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Russia’s top independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, whose chief editor last year won the Nobel Peace Prize, on Monday suspended publication until the end of Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.
“For us and, I know, for you, this is a terrible and difficult decision,” said chief editor Dmitry Muratov.
“But we need to save us for each other,” he said in a statement, indicating that it was necessary to avoid a complete shutdown of the newspape
Co-founded by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993, Novaya Gazeta was the only main newspaper left voicing criticism of President Vladimir Putin and his tactics in and outside the country.