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PRAGUE, June 1. /TASS/. Czech President Milos Zeman said on Monday the practice of making blacklists of persons denied entry to countries only exacerbates contradictions.
"If people do not speak with each other, do not discuss problems of concern, it means they are building a new Great Chinese Wall and Iron Curtain between themselves," he said. "The lack of communication only aggravates the existing conflicts."
He said it was stupid to make any blacklists. In his words, it was the United States and the European Union to make such sanction lists against Russian citizens. "And now Russia has issued such a list in response," he underscored.
The Russian list of persons denied entry to Russia includes four Czech citizens. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek on Monday summoned Russian Ambassador to Prague Sergei Kiselev to explain the reasons why these people had been put on the Russian blacklist.
The so-called blacklist of 89 European Union citizens barred from entering Russia was handed over by the Russian side to a number of European diplomatic missions upon their request, and later this data was published by Western media.
Earlier on Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said that the Russian stop list had been devised in response to the European visa ban more than a year ago. "Unlike Europeans, who compiled their list in an arbitrary way to include, for instance, the entire management of the Association of Knights of the French Legion of Honour in Russia. Some of names was simply taken from tabloid publications. Companies put on the list are the most competitive ones in world markets. This brings up the question why they have been blacklisted," he said.
"Our list has been carefully considered. Naturally, I will not disclose the mechanism of making decisions but we have decided on each of the candidates individually and clearly formulated why these individuals have been put on the stop list," Meshkov added.