Russia sanctions 384 Japanese lawmakers over Ukraine

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MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia on Friday (July 15) banned 384 Japanese lawmakers from entering its territory in response to Tokyo aligning itself with international sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine.

The Russian foreign ministry blacklisted the parliamentarians, naming them on its website and accusing them of “adopting an unfriendly, anti-Russian position notably by expressing unfounded accusations against our country concerning the special military operation in Ukraine.”

Russia on July 1 published a decree transferring Japan’s stake in the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project on Sakhalin, an island in Russia’s far east, to a Russian operator.

The bulk of the project’s liquid natural gas (LNG) output had until now been delivered to Japan.

Tokyo had earlier indicated it hoped to retain its stake, saying participation in the project was essential to its energy security as Japan is highly dependent on fossil fuel imports.

Some 8 per cent of Japan’s LNG imports have so far come from Russia.

In May, the Russian foreign ministry said it had banned entry to several dozen Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, over Tokyo joining international sanctions against Moscow over its military campaign in Ukraine.

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