Earlier this week Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told national media that the Russian government is currently finalizing what it's calling an "unfriendly countries" list and that the United States is likely to be at the top of it.
It follows a recent decree singed by President Vladimir Putin which prevents listed country embassies from being able to hire Russian citizens to work at their diplomatic and consular missions. It's common practice for foreign embassies to hire staff from the local host countries for certain functins..
Zakharavo in a weekend interview had said this 'naughty list' was triggered ultimately by "another round of unfriendly actions by the US" - a reference to Biden's latest sanctions on Kremlin officials and Russian companies for the SolarWinds hack and alleged election interference.
"What are those unfriendly states? The list is being compiled now," she previously Rossiya 1 TV channel. "As you understand, and I can confirm it, the US is, obviously, present" she said while stopping short of naming other specific countries.
On Tuesday state media sources indicated the following are likely be included:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
- some Baltic states
In all about ten countries are expected to be named on the 'blacklist'.
Russia’s list of “unfriendly countries” keeps on growing. pic.twitter.com/BTxbEgKLtR— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) April 27, 2021
Citing a prominent Russian daily newspaper, TASS describes: "A well-informed source told the newspaper that the US, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia may be blacklisted. An additional Izvestia source in the government added that the UK, Canada, Ukraine and Australia may also be included." The same publication indicated the list has yet to finalized, however.
Earlier this month a number of these countries already expelled Russian diplomats and officials, especially the US, also amid a continued tit-for-tat exchange of diplomatic expulsions between Moscow and eastern European countries.