Amid fears of a possible conflict between Ukraine and Russia over Crimea, the Russian government has expanded the list of European Union officials barred from entering Russian territory.
This move was announced last Friday, on January 28, 2022, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in a reciprocal move, after the European Union renewed sanctions targeting certain economic sectors in Russia over the situation in Ukraine for another six months. .
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement announcing the move, said it had constantly warned the European Union about the restrictions imposed on Russia, which the ministry described as “unlawful in international law.”
“In this regard, the Russian side, guided by the principle of reciprocity and parity, decided to expand the list of responses to representatives of EU member states and institutions banned from entering the territory of the Russian Federation,” the ministry announced.
The number of EU officials affected and their names have not been disclosed yet. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that those affected are the leaders of individual European private military companies operating in different regions of the world, as well as representatives of law enforcement agencies, legislative and executive authorities of a number of EU member states.
Russian authorities claim that these officials “promote anti-Russian policies” and “impose measures that violate the legitimate rights of the Russian-speaking population and the media”.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced its move to ban entry to more EU officials, accusing the EU of “vigorously imposing the rules of EU legislation everywhere”, claiming that the same has often insisted on association agreements being signed by third countries, pushing candidate countries To harmonize its laws with the laws of the European Union.
On January 13, the Council of the European Union announced its decision to extend existing economic sanctions against Russia until July 31, 2022. These sanctions were first imposed in July 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.
Among other things, the sanctions restrict some Russian banks and companies from accessing the EU’s primary and secondary capital markets, as well as ban direct or indirect import, export or transfer of all defense-related items. The restrictions also prohibit dual-use goods for military use or military end users in Russia.
Back in December 2021, the Council of the European Union also approved a set of restrictive measures against an unincorporated Russia-based private military entity called the Wagner Group, targeting not only the group, but also eight Russians and three associated entities.