Russian Opposition Deputy Says Lavrov Must Confirm, Explain EU Blacklist

Russian opposition lawmaker, Dmitry Gudkov has said in a formal inquiry that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov needs to explain why 89 politicians from 17 European countries have been banned from entering Russia.

“If this measure was transparent and if it followed a debate in the parliament, I would understand why it was made”, said Gudkov. Three days ago Russian authorities added several European ambassadors on the “black list” and have banned them from entering the territory of Russia. The blacklist comes amid tensions between Moscow and the West over Russia’s seizure and annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The EU has imposed sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, on 151 Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians.

Brussels stated that the black list is “totally arbitrary and unjustified, especially in the absence of any further clarification and transparency”.”We don’t have any information of the legal grounds for compiling such lists, as well as of the criteria and the procedure which led to the decision. Therefore, we consider the measure as completely unfounded and arbitrary, particularly in the absence of any justification and transparency”, said an unnamed spokesman for European diplomacy.

Source: Blic online

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