Russia expands list of ‘unfriendly countries’


Russia has expanded its list of “unfriendly countries” to include Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia, the Russian government has announced.

The blacklisted countries are subject to a quota or even a complete ban when their embassies, consulates and government bodies in Russia want to hire local employees, Xinhua news agency reported.

Now Greece has a limit of 34 people, Denmark 20, Slovakia 16, while Slovenia and Croatia will not be able to hire employees in their diplomatic missions and consular offices, the Russian government said in a statement on Friday.

“Naturally, being included in the list of unfriendly countries entails a decrease in the level of contacts (with Russia),” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a daily briefing commenting on the government decision.

He did not rule out that the affected countries may face other consequences in addition to the restrictions on the recruitment of personnel.

Russia, Ukraine sign grain deal

Russia and Ukraine separately signed a deal in Istanbul with Turkiye and the United Nations to resume grain shipments from Ukrainian ports to international markets via the Black Sea.

The deal was first signed by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and later by Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov with the other two sides, Xinhua news agency reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Twitter@KremlinRussia_E)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attended the ceremony.

The first round of negotiations among military delegations of Turkiye, Russia, and Ukraine, and the United Nations representatives concluded last week with an agreement on the basic principles of the shipment process through the Black Sea. The sides also agreed to establish a coordination center in Istanbul to conduct and control the shipment process.

According to the state-run Anadolu agency, the deal will allow approximately 20 million tons of grain waiting at the ports in Ukraine to be shipped to the world via the Black Sea.

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