MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The European Union has extended its ‘black list’ of Russian individuals under US pressure, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Kalashnikov told TASS on Friday.
"That’s the way anti-Russian sanctions imposed by EU, which is under Washington’s pressure, should be perceived", the lawmaker said. Kalashnikov added that "Ukraine was just an excuse", since the sanctions regime was in effect regardless of the political process.
Europe was reluctant to hear an alternative point of view on developments in the embattled Donbas region, the lawmaker said. "Sanctions against politicians who have neither bank accounts nor businesses in Europe cannot be justified. It turns out that EU couldn’t care less about freedom of speech," Kalashnikov added.
Earlier, the Council of the European Union extended until September sanctions against 150 individuals and 37 entities in Russia and representatives of self-defence forces in southeastern Ukraine. The decision was taken during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the 28-member-bloc on January 29.