European Parliament retaliates for Russia’s ‘stop list’ of EU politicians and officials

The Russian ambassador to the EU’s access to the European Parliament building has been restricted as part of measures in response to the Russian list of EU politicians and officials banned from that country.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said on June 2 that he had informed Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizov of the steps.

The Russian authorities had failed to ensure transparency in their decisions, in line with international law and legal obligations, and allow the individuals targeted in the persona-non-grata list the right of defence and of appeal, Schulz said.

The result was the European Parliament would take appropriate measures in response, including restricting free access to the European Parliament for the Russian ambassador and one other (unnamed) diplomat.

The Parliament would assess requests for access by members of the Russian Duma and the Federation Council “on a case-by-case basis” while the EP also was suspending its engagement with the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.

On May 30, as news of the list emerged, Schulz said that he was dismayed by the reports, noting that the list included a large number of prominent and high-ranking MEPs.

“It is unacceptable that this further diminishes mutual trust and hampers any efforts for constructive dialogue to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the current geopolitical crisis,” Schulz said at the time.

“Despite my numerous previous official requests to the Russian authorities to make the blacklist public and communicate the clear reasons why each individual has been included there, our Members have been repeatedly stopped at the border and the European Parliament has not been officially notified which of its Members are being targeted by the sanctions.”

Schulz said in his May 30 statement that on June 2, he would again speak to Russia’s ambassador to the EU, “and in case of unsatisfactory answers I reserve the right to take appropriate measures in response”.

The Russian “stop list” has caused widespread reaction at EU level and in a number of member states, and the passing of the list to the EU representation in Moscow follows incidents in which visiting EU citizens found themselves barred from entering the country.

(Photo of Schulz: EC Audiovisual Service)



The Sofia Globe staff

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