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Premier shirtfronts Putin over 'bullying'


South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas says he “won’t be bullied” by Vladimir Putin after being put on a blacklist of Australians accused of promoting a “Russophobic agenda” following the Ukraine invasion.

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Malinauskas was included on a list announced overnight by Russia’s foreign ministry, sanctioning 121 Australian citizens including media and business chiefs, army officials and journalists.

Others joining the Premier on the indefinite entry ban list include The Advertiser editor Gemma Jones, The Australian’s Paul Kelly, ABC chair Ita Buttrose, News Corp co-chair Lachlan Murdoch and Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell.

Media identities Stan Grant, Andrew Bolt and Liz Hayes also made the list, along with Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, mining magnates Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and Gina Rinehart, Nine Entertainment Group chair Peter Costello and Meriton apartment developer Harry Triguboff.

The Russian government said the move to bar entry to Malinauskas and others was in response to Australia’s sanctions against Russian individuals following the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

It accused those on the list of promoting a “Russophobic agenda” in Australia and said the Australian government “does not seem inclined to abandon its anti-Russia policy line and continues to produce new sanctions”.

Malinauskas responded on Twitter this morning, saying he had just become “the first Premier blacklisted by Vladimir Putin”.

“It means I cannot visit Russia. While travelling to Russia wasn’t on my bucket list, it appears this decision has been made in response to my government’s strong stance in standing up for Ukraine,” he wrote.

He said actions included legislating to ban state government investment in Russian assets, sending medical equipment to Ukraine and “welcoming Ukrainian refugees and advocating for more”.

“Vladimir Putin, I won’t be bullied, the State Government won’t be bullied and I will continue to stand up for democracy.”

Russia describes the incursion of its forces into Ukraine as a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbour.

-with AAP

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