Russia said on Thursday it had barred 121 Australian citizens, including senior journalists and defense officials, from entering, accusing them of being part of a “Russophobic agenda”.
Among those sanctioned were Australian journalists from ABC News, the Sydney Morning Herald, Sky News and Nine Network, as well as business people and various defense officials.
Peter Malinauskas, Premier of South Australia; mining magnate Gina Rinehart; and the head of the armed forces, General Angus Campbell, were all on the list, as were TV personalities Liz Hayes, Stan Grant and Andrew Bolt.
In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said those on the blacklist were banned indefinitely and others could be added in response to new Canberra sanctions.
Russia announced a similar action on Tuesday against dozens of British journalists, in what Moscow said was a response to Western sanctions and the “spreading of false information about Russia”.
Since Russia sent its armed forces to Ukraine in February, Western countries, including Australia, have imposed a barrage of sanctions designed to weaken the Russian economy and force it out, and have provided billions of arms dollars to Ukraine.
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