MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. Russia has made a decision to expand on a parity basis the retaliatory list of EU officials banned from entering the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova read out at a news briefing on Wednesday.
"In response to European Union actions the Russian side has made a decision to expand the retaliatory list of representatives of the EU member countries and institutions who are prohibited from entering the territory of Russia. The number of names on the Russian list has been increased to match that on the existing EU list," the diplomat said.
Zakharova recalled that lately the EU took a number of unfriendly steps towards Russia and Russian citizens, thus bypassing the existing international norms and using sanctions on far-fetched and absurd pretexts.
"We have repeatedly warned the European Union that this approach is harmful. But the EU ignores our proposals for a meaningful and professional dialogue on the basis of facts and continues to use the language of sanctions," she said.
"In accordance with the diplomatic practice the Russian Foreign Ministry has dispatched a message to the EU’s mission in Russia with a notification of this step. If the European Union continues the policy of confrontation, we reserve the right to take corresponding measures," the statement runs.