EU protests Russian blacklist of European politicians

AP News
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Posted: May 30, 2015 1:22 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — The European Union on Saturday protested against a Russian list banning entry for nearly 90 European politicians.

The bloc said in a statement that several politicians had been denied entry into Russia in recent months on the grounds that they were on a confidential "stop-list." The statement said the 89 names on the list have now been shared with EU officials, but "we consider this measure as totally arbitrary and unjustified."

Phone calls to the Russian Foreign Ministry seeking a comment went unanswered. But the state news agencies Tass and RIA-Novosti late Saturday cited an unnamed foreign ministry official as saying the list was developed in response to sanctions against Russia that the EU imposed over the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The respected newspaper Kommersant said the list includes European figures with top positions in the military and intelligence spheres.

The entry ban comes amid increased tensions between the West and Russia over its alleged support of the eastern Ukraine armed separatists.