31 Mar 2022 18:48

Russia bars entry to EU leadership, most European parliament members

MOSCOW. March 31 (Interfax) - Russia is extending the list of European Union representatives barred from entering its territory by including the EU's top leadership and most European Parliament members, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"In response to the European Union's massive unilateral sanctions, in line with the basic international law principle of reciprocity, Russia is significantly expanding the list of representatives of European Union member states and European organizations barred from entering our country's territory in line with federal law FZ-114 of August 15, 1996 On the Procedure of Exiting and Entering the Russian Federation," the ministry said.

"The restrictions have been extended to the top leadership of the European Union, including a number of European commissioners and chiefs of EU military institutions, as well as an overwhelming majority of European Parliament deputies promoting an anti-Russian policy," it said.

"Included in the retaliatory Russian blacklist are also senior officials, among them government and parliament representatives of certain EU member states, as well as public figures and members of the press bearing personal responsibility for promoting illegitimate anti-Russian sanctions, fomenting Russophobic sentiments, and infringing upon the rights and freedoms of Russian-speaking populations," it said.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry's verbal note announcing this step has been forwarded to the EU Delegation in Moscow," it said.

"We reaffirm that a tough response will inevitably follow any hostile actions on the part of the EU and its member states," it said.

Some of Brussels's decisions under which Russian citizens and companies "have been arbitrarily subjected to unilateral restrictions" "go beyond all limits," it said.

"By imposing its restrictive measures on Russia, Brussels is following a dead-end road under its own inertia," it said.

"Acting this way, not only is the European Union driving the relationship with Russia into a deadlock, but is also jeopardizing the wellbeing and security of its own citizens and stability of the global financial and economic system," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.