“In response to the hostile actions by London and based on the principle of reciprocity, it was decided to impose personal sanctions on the same number of British representatives closely involved in anti-Russian activities,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that British citizens are “banned” from entering Russian territory, which it accused London of being determined to pursue a “destructive policy” in bilateral relations.
In August, the British Foreign Office announced sanctions against seven elements identified as members of the Russian Federal Security Service for alleged involvement in the summer 2020 poisoning of what is considered the main political opponent of President Vladimir Putin.
Agence France-Presse reported that the seven Russians were prevented from traveling to the United Kingdom and had their assets frozen.
Poisoned with a neurotoxic agent Novichok, a substance developed by the Soviet army, Alexei Navalny spent two days in a coma in a Siberian hospital before being transferred to Berlin where he was treated.
The 45-year-old opponent has been imprisoned in Russia since returning to the country in January 2021 and is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a fraud case, although his defense and many Western countries believe the conviction is the motivating policy.
Relations between Moscow and London have been marked by a series of controversies over the past 15 years, as has been the poisoning in the UK with polonium-210, a highly toxic radioactive substance, of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died on November 23, 2006.
Tensions between the two countries were exacerbated in 2018 by the poisoning, also on British soil, of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal with the neurotoxin novichok, as well as disagreements over Syria or Ukraine, among other issues.
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