Russia imposes an entry ban on eight EU officials. These include the Vice-President Vera Jourova of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli. The entry ban is in retaliation for recent European sanctions against six Russians.
The Russian Foreign Ministry had already announced that it would propose “not necessarily symmetrical” countermeasures. The ministry now declares that the European Union “pursues its policy of unilateral and illegally restrictive measures against Russian citizens and organizations”. “All of our proposals to resolve the problems between Russia and the European Union through professional dialogue have been structurally ignored or rejected.”
The Russian sanctions list also includes EU officials from France, Germany, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia. Among them, the Berlin prosecutor Jörg Raupach and the Swedish Åsa Scott. They also concluded last year that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with novichok, a nervous poison developed in the Soviet Union.
In March, the EU imposed sanctions on two Russians allegedly involved in lawsuits against gays and lesbians in the Russian region of Chechnya. Four Russians from President Putin’s entourage have also been placed on the sanctions list for poisoning and prosecution of Navalny and repression of demonstrations. These included the Russian Prosecutor General.