Moscow has handed a list of officials banned from entering Russian territory to the embassies of EU countries, the Russian online newspaper Kommersant re- ported.
A copy of the document was published by Finnish national broadcasting company Yle.fi on its website and by a number of other European media outlets on Saturday.
“Moscow has imposed sanctions on European politicians, officials and the military in response to similar restriction measures adopted by the European Union last year because of the conflict over Ukraine,” the newspaper said.
The Russian “black list” includes a total of 89 people, among them members of the European Parliament, high-ranking military, security and intelligence officials, as well as public figures. The list includes officials from the Baltic countries, Poland, Sweden, Britain and Germany.
The EU’s representation office in Moscow has confirmed receipt of the list.
“Yes, we have received the list. We do not have additional information on the legal aspects, background and other things related to its drafting,” Soren Liborius, head of Press and Information Section of the Delegation of the EU to Russia, told Kommersant.
Meanwhile, Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini has denounced the brewing fuss over Russia’s blacklist as “over-dramatised”, stressing that the list is a logical response to the travel ban the EU had previously imposed on Russian civilians.
Soini underscored that it was “pointless to over-dramatise” Russia’s travel blacklist, which has restricted a number of senior European political leaders from entering Russia, noting that a similar ban had already been imposed on Russian civilians by the EU.
“It’s a predictable reaction to the travel ban placed on Russian citizens. It’s no big surprise,” the foreign minister wrote in his blog, as quoted by Yle, a Finnish media outlet. — Sput- nik.