EU bans Russian officials in response to blacklist

EU restricts free access of Russian officials to EU parliament

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The European Parliament has begun to apply restrictive measures against Russian politicians and government officials in response to a Russian black list as of Tuesday.

Last week, Moscow issued a blacklist reportedly containing the names of 89 European Union politicians barred from Russia in response to the EU’s own sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine. The list that was prepared by the Russian foreign ministry and handed to the EU delegation in Moscow

After criticising the list as “arbitrary and unjustified,” EU officials decided to take action against the ban.

The President of the EU parliament Martin Schulz released a statement saying “following the publication of the blacklist of European politicians and officials, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, today informed the Russian Ambassador to the EU [Vladimir Chizhov] that insofar as the Russian authorities have failed to ensure transparency in their decisions.”

“[Martin Schulz] considers that it is now justified to take appropriate measures in response," the EU Parliament said in a statement.

“[The EU] is restricting free access to Parliament to the [Russian] Ambassador [Chizhov] and one other named diplomat, assessing requests for access by Members of the Duma and the Federation Council on a case-by-case basis, and suspending Parliament's engagement with the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee."

The European Union has criticised Russia over its travel blacklist that includes 89 EU politicians, officials and military leaders calling it “arbitrary and unjustified.”

The travel blacklist includes nationals from countries such as the US, UK, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Spain.

After Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in March 2014, the EU and US issued several sanctions which came into force on Sept. 14, 2014 aimed at restricting Russia’s banking, energy and arms industries.

Russia is currently being boycotted by many Western leaders ever since Moscow annexed Crimea and allegedly gave its military and political support to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in Ukraine.

TRTWorld and agencies