The European Union has slammed Russia's “totally unjustified” action of banning the entry of 89 EU officials.
According to a statement released late Saturday, the office of the EU spokesperson said: “The list with 89 names has now been shared by the Russian authorities. We don't have any other information on legal basis, criteria and process of this decision. We consider this measure as totally arbitrary and unjustified, especially in the absence of any further clarification and transparency.”
The EU statement said that several EU politicians had been denied entry when arriving at the Russian border in the past few months. “The Russian authorities justified these refusals by referring to the inclusion of these individuals on a confidential ‘stop list’,” it added.
Russia blacklisted 89 EU politicians and military leaders from entering the country Saturday.
According to the Russian TASS news agency, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said: 'An answer to some European countries demanding to explain why these names have been put on the lists of persons banned from entering Russia is quite simple -- this was done as a response to a sanctions campaign unleashed against Russia by some Germany-led countries of the European Union.'
The official refrained from giving the names of people barred from entering the Russian Federation, although their surnames reportedly appeared in some media outlets.
The list reportedly includes some active and former members of the European parliament, U.K., Polish, Swedish and German politicians.
By Felix Nkambeh Tih