EU leaders condemned Russia’s decision to ban eight high-ranking EU officials from entering the country. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, on behalf of all 27 EU member states, said that Moscow’s move was “unacceptable” and had no legal basis.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said that Moscow’s actions to ban high-ranking European politicians from entering Russia show that Russia has chosen the path of confrontation instead of trying to change the negative trajectory of relations with the European Union.
As Josep Borrell promised, Russia’s actions will not force the European Union to abandon the protection of human rights, democracy and international law.
As you know, earlier Russia banned entry into its territory of eight citizens of the EU member states and representatives of the EU official structures. The Russian diplomatic department explained this step as a reaction to the sanctions imposed on March 2 and 22 by the EU Council against six Russian citizens.
In Russia, Western sanctions are perceived as “an open challenge to the independence of Russian foreign and domestic policy,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
The list of Europeans who fell under the retaliatory restrictive measures included the President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli, Deputy President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Yurova, Head of the Berlin Prosecutor’s Office Jörg Raupach, member of the French delegation to PACE Jacques Maire, Chairman of the Latvian National Council for Electronic Media Ivars Abolins, Director of the Center for the State Language of Latvia Maris Baltins, Head of the Estonian Language Department Ilmar Tomusk, Head of the Laboratory of Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear Safety of the Swedish Total Defense Research Institute (FOI) Osu Scott.
In connection with the inclusion of the last figure in the sanctions list, the Swedish Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to protest. The Swedish Foreign Ministry called Moscow’s retaliation “arbitrary, legally indefinite” and “an expression of political motives.”
Earlier, a joint statement by the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament was released in connection with the introduction of restrictive measures by Russia against eight EU citizens.
This statement speaks of “resolute” condemnation of the decision of the Russian authorities to prohibit the entry of eight citizens of the European Union into the territory of the Russian Federation. “This measure is unacceptable,” the European institutions said in a statement. “It has no legal basis and is absolutely groundless. It is directed directly against the European Union and not just against the individuals concerned. ”
“This decision,” the statement summarizes, “is a new, clear evidence that the Russian Federation has chosen confrontation with the EU instead of agreeing to change the negative vector of development of our bilateral relations.
The EU reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response to the decision of the Russian authorities. ”
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova reacted to the reaction of European politicians on her page on the social network: “Media:“ Speaker of the European Parliament (EP) David Sassoli, who was restricted from entering the territory of the Russian Federation, said that Russian sanctions would not silence the EP. “No sanctions or threats will force the European Parliament and me to stop defending human rights, freedom, and democracy. Threats will not silence us, “he wrote on Friday.”