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MOSCOW, June 10. / TASS /. Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov has accused the West of leaking to the press the Russian black list of banned officials.
"There was no reason to make such a fuss," he told the Russian Press Congress, commenting on the row in connection with the publication of the list. Ivanov explained that the list had been drawn up "eons ago", but recently it was handed over to Western partners for their information.
"As soon as the Western countries announced their black list, which contains far more names, we drew up our list. But, unlike our Western partners, we didn’t publish it," the Kremlin chief of staff said. "More than a year later we were asked to hand it over to the EU without the publication right . We did it."
"They immediately leaked it to the press," Ivanov said. "We are often accused of this, but that was an outright and cynical leak."
"They raised a great hue and cry. Moreover, we were asked to explain why we had imposed [personal sanctions]," Ivanov said.
The Kremlin chief of staff noted that countries never explained why they imposed such restrictions. "It’s standard international practice," he said, adding that he was banned from entering a number of countries for many years. "It’s regular business. Why all this fuss, I don’t know," Ivanov added.