Russia Releases Lengthy List Of 'Unfriendly' Countries

Russia on Monday published an official list of foreign states it considers to be "unfriendly," as President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine entered day 12.

Business dealings in Russia involving these countries will now require special government authorization, Russia said, in a response to crippling sanctions imposed by Western nations over the invasion.

The countries and territories considered "unfriendly" by the Russian government incude "Australia, Albania, Andorra, United Kingdom, including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, the member states of the European Union, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, the United States, Taiwan, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, Japan," according to a decree published on the government's website.

Those on the list are considered to have taken "unfriendly actions against Russia, Russian companies, and citizens," the decree states.

All corporate deals with companies and individuals from the "unfriendly countries and regions" must now be approved by a Russian government commission—the Commission for Control over Foreign Investments, which was established by the Kremlin in 2008 to monitor foreign investment in strategic sectors.

The decree states that Russian citizens and companies, the state itself, its regions and municipalities that have foreign exchange obligations to foreign creditors from those on the list will be able to pay them in rubles. The latest directive applies to payments exceeding 10 million rubles per month, or a similar amount in foreign currency.

The Kremlin warned in a statement on March 2 that deals with securities or real estate, or provision of ruble loans involving entities from countries deemed "unfriendly" to Russia must seek special authorization.

The statement added that Russia's government commission in charge of foreign investment must give authorization for deals with Russian residents.

The measure was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and stems from a March 1 decree issued by Putin titled "On additional temporary measures of an economic nature to ensure the financial stability of the Russian Federation."

The Kremlin press service said the decree on additional temporary measures seeks to ensure financial stability of the country amid the pressure of external sanctions.

Russia's state-run agency TASS notes that the foreign states mentioned in the Kremlin's list imposed or joined the sanctions against Russia after Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Western countries have announced tough sanctions on Russia, including banning certain Russian banks from SWIFT, the high security network that facilitates payments among 11,000 financial institutions, hampering the Russian central bank's ability to deploy its international reserves and measures targeting Putin and his allies. The sanctions sent the ruble and the share prices of many Russian companies traded overseas plunging.

Putin, during an appearance on the state-controlled Rossiya 24 news channel on Friday, called on neighboring countries "to think about how to normalize relations."

"I want to emphasize once again. We have no ill intentions towards our neighbors, and I would advise them not to escalate the situation, nor to introduce any restrictions," he said, according to news agencies.

"All our actions, if they arise, always arise exclusively in response to unfriendly actions against Russia," he added.

Putin also said: "We do not see any need here to escalate the situation or worsen our relations."

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Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his meeting with officials on January 10, 2020 in Yalta. Crimea, Ukraine. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images