Moscow bans more EU officials and politicians from Russia in response to sanctions

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Friday it had significantly expanded a list of European Union officials and politicians banned from entering Russia in response to the latest round of sanctions by the bloc.

EU member states approved a 13th package of Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, banning nearly 200 entities and individuals accused of helping Moscow procure weapons or of involvement in kidnapping Ukrainian children, something Moscow denies.

“The European Union is continuing its fruitless attempts to put pressure on Russia through unilateral restrictive measures,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

“In response to these unfriendly actions, the Russian side has significantly expanded the list of representatives of European institutions and EU member states, who… are prohibited from entering the territory of our state.”

It said the stop list included representatives of law enforcement agencies and commercial organizations who provided military assistance to Ukraine, representatives of European institutions involved in the prosecution of Russian officials, and those who gathered material to support the idea of confiscating Russian state assets.

“The Russian retaliatory ‘stop list’ also includes representatives of the Council of Europe, members of the legislative assemblies of European Union countries, members of the OSCE PA (Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe), who systematically make aggressive statements against Russia,” the statement said.

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