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Moscow introduces ‘blacklist’ exceptionally as response to EU actions — FM source

May 30, 2015, 21:39 UTC+3

Foreign Ministry would prefer to refrain from comments on personalities, a high-ranking official said

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© Sergey Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Moscow confirms it has sent to the European Union’s countries a list of persons who were denied entry to Russia but says it would prefer to refrain from comments on personalities, a high-ranking official at the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

"We would like to refrain from comments on names of the people who were barred from entering the Russian Federation, although [their surnames] appeared in some media outlets," he told reporters. "At the same time, we confirm that similar lists have been handed to our European partners."

Russia recommended long ago that envoys of those countries which imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation should apply to Russian consular offices before their trips for specifying whether they are barred from entering the country, he said.

"However, our partners preferred not to do so and asked to notify them through diplomatic channels," he said. "In line with this, the above-mentioned lists were sent to them."

"[The lists] were handed to our European partners as a gesture of trust and their publication may weigh on the conscience of corresponding sides," he said. "Just one thing remains unclear: did our European co-workers want these lists to minimise inconveniences for potential ‘denied persons’ or to stage another political show?" he said.

Restrictions on access to Russia have been introduced exceptionally as a reciprocal step to the EU actions, he said.

"An answer to some European countries demanding to explain why these names have been put on the lists of persons banned from entering Russia is quite simple - this was done as a response to a sanctions campaign unleashed against Russia by some Germany-led countries of the European Union," he said commenting on the reports that certain European capitals had demanded explanations from Moscow over the blacklisted personalities.

The U.S. was acting more adequately than the EU countries in the situation with reciprocal blacklists, he said.

"U.S. citizens are blacklisted as well but it should be mentioned that in this case our American partners act more constructively than the European ones," he said.

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