MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said on Saturday that journalists from countries that Russia considers hostile have been banned from covering this year’s economic forum in St. Petersburg, one of the flagship events from the country.
The move underscores heightened animosity between Russia and countries that have imposed sanctions related to the fighting in Ukraine or criticized Moscow.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 14-17, has for decades been Russia’s vehicle for touting its development and seeking investors. Putin’s appearances at the forum have been highly visible, and he has often used the occasion to host roundtables with international news executives.
“Yes indeed. It has been decided not to accredit media from countries hostile to SPIEF this time,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying.
Russia officially designates dozens of countries, including the United States, Canada, members of the European Union and Australia, as “unfriendly” under sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine.