The Russian government will soon publish a list of “unfriendly countries” in accordance with a presidential decree signed on April 23. According to Izvestia’s information, about ten states may be included in the list, among which, in addition to the United States, Great Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Canada and the Baltic republics are at risk. In accordance with the decree, the diplomatic missions of such states will not be able to hire Russians.
According to one of the sources familiar with the situation, the list will include the United States, Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. Another Izvestia source added that it is quite possible to include the UK, Canada, Ukraine and Australia on the list.
“The final list has not yet been approved. Work in progress. They won’t just write anyone as “unfriendly”. How exactly these countermeasures will operate is also being worked out. A complete ban on the work of Russian citizens at these diplomatic missions is possible, ”the interlocutor explained.
It is unlikely that the “unfriendly” list will be too long, but the United States, the Baltic countries and the Czech Republic will surely be included in it, says Oleg Shein, a member of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs.
“The large countries of Western Europe – for example, Germany and France – differ in their positions with Russia, but they are perceived by Moscow as some conditional partners that are in political, economic and military dependence on Washington. However, they have a kind of independence, so they are a negotiating party for us, ”the deputy told Izvestia.
The last “diplomatic” aggravation between the Russian Federation and Western countries began on April 15, when the United States, along with the introduction of new sanctions, expelled 10 Russian diplomats. Moscow responded to this in a mirrored manner, and also banned the American diplomatic mission from hiring citizens of the Russian Federation. In solidarity with Washington, three employees of the Russian Embassy in Warsaw were declared persona non grata.
On April 17, Czech Prime Minister Andrei Babis announced that the country’s authorities suspect the Russian special services of involvement in the explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbetica in 2014. At the same time, the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats was announced. Russia responded by expelling 20 Czech diplomats. On April 22, Slovakia declared three employees of the Russian Embassy persona non grata in connection with the situation in the Czech Republic. And Prague went and announced the reduction of the composition of the Russian embassy to the level of a diplomatic mission in Moscow. After that, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Romania also decided to support the diplomatic demarche.
Read more in the exclusive material from Izvestia:
Ten will fly by: USA, Czech Republic, Baltic states may become “unfriendly”