The bloc has “strongly condemned and objected” to the blacklisting of eight EU officials in Moscow.
EU summons Russian ambassador Vladimir Chizhov to condemn Moscow’s decision to impose sanctions Eight officers From entering the country in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the EU.
Diplomatic tensions have been rising since early 2021, when Moscow expelled European diplomats during an official visit by a high-level EU envoy.
The European Union has angered Moscow by demanding the Kremlin release Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny from prison and blacklisting more Russian officials for human rights abuses.
Russia’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, has been “summoned since last Friday to condemn the Russian authorities’ decision to ban eight EU citizens from entering Russian territory,” the EU commission said in a statement.
The EU executive added: “Ambassador Chizhov was informed of the strong rejection and condemnation of this decision by the European Union and EU member states, which was purely politically motivated and lacked any legal justification.”
During the meeting with Chizhov, EU representatives also recalled the expulsion of Russian Czech diplomats and Russia’s so-called “friendly states” executive order, the statement said.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Friday that the banned individuals included Vera Zourova, vice-president of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, David Sasoli, president of the European Parliament, and Jack Meyer, a member of the French delegation to the European Parliament. Assembly.
“The dialogue between Moscow and Brussels emphasizes the importance of diplomatic efforts to rectify the current unhealthy situation,” Chizov said in a statement after the meeting, adding that the Russian side reaffirmed its commitment to the effort.
The next step
The European Union will consider its next steps at a meeting of foreign ministers next week, but may also look to the Council of the European Union, a Russian non-EU organization, for ways to respond to what Brussels has to say about Russian rights violations.
Moscow has called on the EU not to interfere in its internal affairs and has denied any wrongdoing.
Navalny was arrested on his way back from Germany in January, where he spent five months with a nerve agent who accused the Kremlin. Russian authorities have denied any involvement and questioned whether he was even poisoned. European labs have confirmed that Navalny was poisoned.
In February, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for violating the paragraph, before embezzlement charges that he said were politically motivated.
The EU imposed sanctions on two Russians in March for allegedly abusing gays and lesbians in southern Russia’s Chechnya region.
The EU also imposed sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin in March.