MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said on Monday he is deeply disappointed by the publication in some Western media of Moscow’s "blacklist" of EU citizens barred from Russia.
"The list of the Russian side in regard to Europeans who have been banned from entry to Russia remains confidential," Meshkov said. "Those on the list will decide themselves if the public wants to know that they have been included in the list," he said.
The diplomat stressed that the list had been sent "at the technical level" through the consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. "For us the fact of handing over the list is not a political step. The idea was to make the life easier for those who are mentioned on this list," Meshkov said.
"Everything what happened later lies fully on the conscience of our European partners," he said.
"We are deeply disappointed by the actions of our European partners in Moscow. Of course, decency is not a political category, but when people already cross all the lines, this arouses only disappointment as how can we trust such partners," he said.
The diplomat said that the Russian "stop list" was devised in response to the European similar list that emerged more than a year ago. "The Europeans formed their list voluntarily," he added.
In particular, the list includes the whole leadership of the Russian branch of the Association of knights of the France’s Legion of Honor, Meshkov said. "Some names were taken simply from the "yellow press" publications," he added.
"The companies that are included there are those companies that are competitive on the world markets, and that’s why there is a question why they have been put on these lists," he said.
"Our list has been carefully considered. Of course, I will not reveal the decision-making mechanism but on each candidate a separate decision was taken with a particular explanation why these persons have been included on the stop-list," he said.
On Saturday, the EU mission in Moscow announced that it had received a list of 89 EU politicians, diplomats and military officials barred from entering Russia. The EU External Action Service said the list was "unjustified.".