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Finland’s foreign chief says Russia’s blacklist was ‘expected’

May 30, 2015, 13:30 UTC+3 HELSINKI
The minister believes that the release of the list is linked to the EU discussion on extending the anti-Russian sanctions
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HELSINKI, May 30. /TASS/. Russia’s blacklist of European Union politicians barred from the country should not be dramatized as this as an expected move, Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini told the country’s telegraph bureau on Saturday.

"Russia’s reaction was expected, and it should not be dramatized too much," the minister said, adding that the Finnish side has not discussed this issue with Russia. This was not also discussed with the EU foreign chiefs.

The blacklist is no cause for emergency meetings of the EU representatives, he said.

The minister believes that the release of the list is linked to the EU discussion on extending the anti-Russian sanctions. He stressed that the "fate of sanctions depends on the development of the situation in Ukraine."

"It is positive that the ceasefire regime largely holds. I don’t want to be a pessimist, but in regard to this situation it is difficult to be too optimistic," Soini said.

On Friday, Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported that Heidi Hautala, a member of the European Parliament from Finland, was put on the blacklist of persons barred from entering Russia. The list consists of 89 politicians, diplomats and military officials from the EU countries.

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