Ultra-nationalists aim to restrict travel for Russian officials’ families

(Reuters) – The ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) is working on a bill that would temporarily ban the travel of close relatives of high-ranking officials to “unfriendly countries,” the RIA state news agency reported on Sunday.

Russia considers all countries that have hit it with sanctions over its military campaign in Ukraine to be “unfriendly.”

Citing a member of the Russian Duma, Sergei Karginov, RIA reported that restrictions may also affect, among others, law enforcement officers, judges, top managers of state corporations, and the board of directors of the Central Bank.

“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,” RIA cited Karginov as saying.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine in February 2022, calling it a “special military operation” to demilitarise and denazify its neighbour. Kyiv and its allies call the war, in which thousands of people have been killed, an unprovoked aggression to grab land.

Despite its name, Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) has since its founding in 1991 espoused a hardline, ultranationalist ideology, demanding Russia reconquer the countries of the former Soviet Union.

It was not immediately clear when the LDPR would bring the bill for consideration by the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)