Russian airport 'bans' Western leaders from duty free shop

Russian airport 'bans' Western leaders from duty free shop

A new front has been opened in Russia's conflict with the West - the duty free shop.

This sign was spotted this weekend at Vladivostok Airport, eastern Russia, by writer Michael Idov and posted on Instagram.

He told i100 that a running joke on Russian social media in recent weeks had been photographs of amateurish printouts with words like "entry denied to Barack Obama" fastened to walls.

"What took me aback in this case was both the placement - the international lounge of an international airport, in a city that has just hosted a great international music festival - and the sleekness of the design," Mr Idov said.

"I can't imagine this sign being installed without the approval of the airport authorities. It truly boggles the mind."

He added: "It seems like what started as a bad grassroots joke is quickly becoming a bad institutional one."

Sadly, the conflict in eastern Ukraine is no laughing matter, with more than 2,500 people killed since mid-April.

Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko has said his county is "close to a point of no return - full scale-war" with Russia, while his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaite said Russia was "practically in a war against Europe".

European leaders have given Russia one week to withdraw forces from Ukraine or face further sanctions, but Vladimir Putin denies troops have crossed the border or are arming pro-Moscow rebels.

i100 has contacted Vladivostok Airport for a comment on the duty free shop sign.

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