The European Union was criticised by Russia on Monday, following the bloc’s disclosure of a travel blacklist prepared by Russian authorities on 89 EU politicians, officials and military leaders.
The list was prepared by the country’s foreign ministry and handed to the EU delegation in Moscow “confidentially” in response to a similar action by the EU, said the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“With the EU introducing its restrictions on some 150 Russians, I think, we did the same for a considerably smaller number of EU member states’ citizens,” said Lavrov
The foreign minister also said, “The reverse sanctions that were introduced applied to officials who have been most active in supporting the state coup that led to the start of persecution and discrimination of Russians in Ukraine.”
According to Reuters, on Saturday a spokeswoman for the EU foreign affairs said, “We consider this measure as totally arbitrary and unjustified, especially in the absence of any further clarification and transparency,” referring to the “blacklist.”
However, Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman said that the EU’s reactions were “difficult to understand.”
Russia is currently being boycotted by many western country leaders after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in March 2014.
Following Crimea’s annexation, the EU and the US issued several sanctions on Sept. 14, 2014 aimed at restricting Moscow’s banking, energy and arms industries over accusations of Russia providing military and political support to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of sending forces to help the rebels in eastern Ukraine. However, it has admitted that there are Russian nationals fighting Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions alongside the separatists.
Over 6,200 people have been killed in the fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.