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EU summons Russian ambassador over travel ban for top officials

Published: in 🇪🇺🇪🇺European News🇪🇺🇪🇺 by .

Move follows Moscow’s decision to ban eight EU officials from entering Russia in retaliation for EU sanctions

The European Union on Monday summoned the Russian ambassador to express “strong condemnation and rejection” following Moscow’s decision to impose sanctions on eight EU officials.

Russia on Friday banned European Parliament President David Sassoli, European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová and six other European officials from entering the country in retaliation for EU sanctions on Russians.

“The Russian ambassador to the EU [Vladimir Chizhov] has been summoned,” EU foreign policy spokesperson Peter Stano told journalists. “He should be received in the afternoon by the secretary generals of the European Commission [Ilze Juhansone] and the European External Action Service [Stefano Sannino], where we will convey to him our strong condemnation and rejection of this decision.”

Stano said that the Russian travel ban, as well as other events in recent months, such as Moscow’s expulsion of diplomats from various EU countries, “shows that Russia is determined to continue the hostile track of confrontations, and the EU will be reacting to it.”

He added: “We are working on a united response, we are coordinating with member states … We will see what will be the best way and the most effective way to react to all the actions of Russia during recent weeks and months.”

EU foreign ministers will meet next Monday to discuss further actions, but at least for now, no new sanctions against Russia are on the table, two EU diplomats said.

Russia said Friday that it was imposing the travel ban on the eight EU officials in response to sanctions imposed by the EU on March 2 and March 22.

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On March 2, the EU and U.S. imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials in the wake of the poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. On March 22, the EU imposed sanctions on two Russians accused of persecuting gay and lesbian people in the southern region of Chechnya.

Jacopo Barigazzi contributed reporting.


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