THE RUSSIAN Foreign Minister has today announced that the country will impose visa restrictions for citizens of countries which are deemed "unfriendly" by Russia.
Speaking at a meeting with the United Russia political party in Moscow, Sergey Lavrov announced that the decree was being worked on.
"This act will introduce a number of restrictions on entry into the territory of Russia," the minister said.
The list of unfriendly countries includes Ireland, all other EU countries as well as Australia, the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Ukraine, among others. The list of unfriendly countries was published on 7 March
According to the Russian government, the countries listed have committed unfriendly actions against Russia, its companies and its citizens.
Continuing, Lavrov said:
"The West does not hide the purpose of this confrontation, to destroy the Russian economy, undermine domestic political stability and ultimately, significantly weaken Russia, push us to the sidelines of International life
Since the outset of the war in Ukraine, protests have bee taking place at the Russian embassy in Dublin, prompting the Russian ambassador in Dublin to tell Russian state TV that Ireland is at the "forefront" of anti-Russian events.
Vladimir Putin also said last week that it would seek payment in roubles for gas sold to unfriendly countries.
Europe depends heavily on Russian gas for heating and power generation, and the EU is split on whether to sanction Russia's energy sector.