MOSCOW: Russia announced on Saturday that it was banning 32 New Zealand officials and journalists from entering its territory, in response to similar measures taken by Wellington against Moscow over its offensive in Ukraine.
Among those sanctioned are Wellington mayor Andrew Foster, the mayor of Auckland Philip Goff, the commander of New Zealand's navy Commodore Garin Golding and journalists Kate Green and Josie Pagani, Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement.
The decision was taken "in response to the government of New Zealand's sanctions, which increasingly affect Russian citizens", the statement said.
Russia's intervention in Ukraine in February provoked unprecedented Western sanctions, and Moscow has responded with similar measures.
In April, Russia banned New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and a host of politicians from entering its territory.