Lorna Slater and Kate Forbes among ministers banned from Russia in new wave of sanctions

MANY Scottish government ministers and politicians were expelled from Russia in response to the aid given to Ukraine after the invasion.

In a statement on Monday, Russia’s Foreign Office said the additions to the country’s “ban list” were due to the UK government’s “continued application of the sanctions mechanism” against Russians.

Holyrood Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson and Ukraine Minister Neil Gray have all been put on the list.

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Lorna Slater, Scottish Greens MSP and Scottish Government minister, was also on the list alongside fellow MSP Ross Greer and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

Fiona Hyslop, SNP MSP, was also sanctioned but was wrongly described as ‘Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Economic, Labor and Cultural Affairs’ – Hyslop was Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture until to last year’s redesign.

Constitutional Secretary Robertson reacted on social media, writing: “The Russian Foreign Ministry clearly does not like the criticism of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and does not like those who support the Ukrainian freedom. #SlavaUkraini.”

Greer reacted to the news with a tongue-in-cheek Tweet, writing, “Just got banned from Russia. Please send your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Meanwhile, Slater retweeted the list with a link to a video of her at a pro-Ukraine rally, adding #SlavaUkraini.

She later told The National: “Vladimir Putin’s outrageous and illegal invasion of Ukraine has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions more. If the price to pay for exposing Putin’s war crimes is a ban on visiting Russia, then I will live with those consequences, but I will not stop supporting Ukraine.

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While Greer added: “Watching the bravery of the Ukrainian people over the past few months has been absolutely inspiring. If the price to pay for defending Ukraine’s rights and condemning Putin’s war is a ban on visiting Russia, I think I will be able to cope.

SNP MP Blackford later said: “The brutal invasion of Ukraine by the Russian regime must be challenged and the war crimes it is committing in the country must be held accountable.

“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 what action it can to go further against individuals and institutions of key economic and strategic interest to the Russian government.

Slater, the left and politicians across the Scottish political spectrum have strongly opposed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

“The SNP Scottish Government is proud to play its part in supporting our Ukrainian friends, especially through the aid and resettlement of Ukrainian refugees. We must stand united in the face of President Putin’s aggression and coordinated solidarity demonstrated by Ukraine must and cannot weaken.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed the appointees had all been sanctioned because they “contribute to London’s hostile course aimed at the demonization of our country and its international isolation”.

There were 39 British citizens in total who are now no longer able to enter the Russian Federation.

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Cole-Hamilton said he would wear the ban as a “badge of honor”.

He added: “One day, after the defeat of Putin’s army and his government being swept away by the tides of history, I hope I will have the chance to visit and meet those who bravely stood against the Russian regime.

“Until that happens, I will wear this ban as a badge of honor.

“The UK must redouble its efforts to help Ukraine achieve victory on the battlefield, while here in Scotland our government must seriously fill the gaps in the refugee program and help those who have fled to our shores.”

The SNP and the Scottish Greens have been contacted for comment.

The National: Neil Gray, Minister for International Aid and Refugees with a fully loaded HGV at the NHS Supply depot in Bellshill and ready to depart with over 500,000 pieces of medical supplies and equipment to Ukraine.Neil Gray, Minister for International Aid and Refugees with a fully loaded HGV at the NHS supply depot in Bellshill and ready to depart with over 500,000 pieces of medical supplies and equipment to Ukraine.

Nicola Sturgeon was also sanctioned earlier this year.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, shadow upgrade secretary Lisa Nandy and former NATO secretary general George Robertson were also among those banned from entry into Russia.

A number of journalists were included in Monday’s sanctions, including Piers Morgan, BBC newsreader Huw Edwards and ITV journalist Robert Peston.

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