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Russia expands unfriendly countries list

Thursday, 3 August 2023, 11:02

The Russian government has put Norway on its list of unfriendly countries and limited the number of employees Norwegian diplomatic missions can hire.

Source: Government of Russia

Quote: "The government has included the Kingdom of Norway in the list of foreign states that commit unfriendly actions directed against Russian diplomatic and consular missions abroad," the message reads.

The Russian government has decided to limit the number of individuals who are on the territory of Russia with whom the Norwegian embassy will be able to conclude employment contracts, referring to the decree by Vladimir Putin On the Measures (Countermeasures) in Response to Unfriendly Actions of Foreign States (dated 23 April 2021).

"According to the new decree, a limit of 27 people has been fixed for Norway," the message reads.

At the same time, the government of the Russian Federation reminds that they have the right to completely prohibit the hiring of employees from persons residing on the territory of Russia in embassies, consulates, representative offices of state bodies and state institutions of unfriendly countries, according to Putin's decree. 

Previously, in May 2021, restrictions were introduced for the diplomatic missions of the United States and the Czech Republic, and in July 2022, for the diplomatic missions of Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia.

"The list approved by the government is not final and, considering the ongoing hostile actions of foreign countries directed against Russian missions abroad, may be expanded," the Russian government reports.


Most countries in Europe, North America, Australia and other states are currently unfriendly to Russia, according to Russian media.

There are two lists in Russia.

The first list of unfriendly countries appeared in May 2021, which refers to "unfriendly actions" against Russian diplomatic and consular employees. Adding a state to this list means corresponding restrictions in the diplomatic sphere. The list indicates the limit on the number of people who are in the territory of Russia whom the countries’ missions can hire. For a long time, the list consisted of only two positions – the USA (the limit set is 0 people) and the Czech Republic.

On 22 July 2022, five more countries were added to the list: Greece, Denmark, Slovakia, as well as Slovenia and Croatia, which were banned from hiring employees in Russia.

On 24 July 2022, the government of the Russian Federation expanded the second list of unfriendly countries and territories, which was much more extensive. It appeared in March 2022 in response to sanctions and provides for the possibility of paying off obligations to creditors from these countries in roubles. Almost 50 countries have been added to this list, including all countries from the first list, as well as Ukraine, Canada, Japan, Micronesia and the United Kingdom, along with the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Maine and Anguilla, Gibraltar and the British Virgin Islands. On 30 October, the government again expanded the list – to all 14 British Overseas Territories.

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