In a significant and controversial development, the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) has announced its intent to propose a new legislation aimed at restricting international travel. The proposed law would enforce a temporary ban on the travel of close relatives of high-ranking officials to nations categorized by Russia as “unfriendly”.
The concept of ‘unfriendly’ nations has been employed by Russia to describe those countries that have imposed sanctions against it following the military operation in Ukraine. This latest proposal is perceived as an extension of Russia’s retaliatory measures against these countries.
According to the state news agency RIA Novosti, the legislation is currently being developed by the LDPR. The restrictions, as outlined by Sergei Karginov, a member of the Russian Duma, may extend to include law enforcement officers, judges, top managers of state corporations, and members of the board of directors of the central bank, along with their respective families.
Karginov is quoted by RIA as explaining the rationale behind this move: “Now, when Russia is forced to confront a group of Western countries led by the United States that provoked a conflict in Ukraine, such journeys are not only inadmissible but also dangerous.” This statement underlines the LDPR’s perceived need for the travel ban and provides an insight into the hardline stance the party is adopting in the face of global backlash against Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
While this proposed legislation is still in its developmental stages, it’s clear that its implementation could further escalate tensions between Russia and the West, potentially impacting diplomatic relations and further isolating Russia from the international community. It remains to be seen how Russian officials and their families will react to these potential travel limitations, and the extent of the bill’s impact on Russia’s international relations.