Russia Retaliation: Bans Western Leaders from Airport's Duty Free Shop

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | September 2, 2014 10:50 AM EST

Russia has decided to ban the Western leaders to go shopping at its Vladivostok airport duty-free store. Or so a spoof sign says.

Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the audience during a rally and a concert called "We are together" to support the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea to Russia in Red Square in central Moscow, March 18, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.

The notice, placed after the EU and US placed sanctions against Russia, was photographed by writer and editor Michael Idov, and posted on his Instagram on Aug 31.

The notice singled out seven western leaders and six top Ukrainian politicians. "In line with the decision of Duty Free shop Administration these persons are not welcome here and will not be attended to a customer in this shop."

It is not surprising that those people were U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Petro Poroshenko, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko and four other Ukrainian officials.

With the situation in Ukraine right now, one would think if those leaders that were mentioned will actually even consider passing through Russian airspace even for a second.

Idov told i100 a spate of spoof signs have actually erupted in Russian social media, such as:

Post by Ivan Kurilla.

The notice at Vladivostok airport, however, was brazen, Idov said.

"What took me back 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".

He said he finds it impossible the sign was installed without airport authorities first knowing about its placement. "It truly boggles the mind".

Read: Ukraine Crisis: Putin Dangles Nuclear War Threat, US Senators Advise Sending Defensive Weapons

Russia is expected to be slapped with a fresh round of Western sanctions as it works its way to invade Ukraine. Russia was given one week to withdraw its forces.

Last week, it violated Ukrainian sovereignty when it moved at least 1000 troops and military vehicles into the country.

The Ukraine crisis that started in April 2014 has so far claimed 2,500 lives.

Ukraine is already "close to a point of no return -- full scale--war" with Russia, Mr. Poroshenko has said.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said Russia's continued siege into Ukraine was "practically a war against Europe".

The sign at the Vladivostok airport:

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(Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov / )
Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the audience during a rally and a concert called "We are together" to support the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea to Russia in Red Square in central Moscow, March 18, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.
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