MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Moscow has blacklisted a number of German law enforcement and intelligence officials, barring them from entering Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. According to the ministry, the move was taken in response to the European Union’s sanctions over the alleged "Russian trace" in a cyberattack on the Bundestag’s computer system in 2015.
"In response to the EU’s destructive actions, Moscow has decided to expand the blacklist of German nationals barred from entering Russia," the statement reads. "In accordance with the diplomatic principle of reciprocity, Russia has blacklisted top officials from the law enforcement and intelligence agencies that belong to the German Defense Ministry," the document adds.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow has repeatedly called on Berlin to hold bilateral expert consultations on the data allegedly pointing to the involvement of Russian citizens in the cyberattack but the German authorities ignored the initiative. "Their approach makes it clear that Berlin has never been interested in really investigating the so-called Russian hackers case and the entire situation was initially staged as another provocation against our country," the statement runs.
The European Union and the United Kingdom earlier imposed sanctions on two Russian nationals, including Head of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Igor Kostyukov, allegedly responsible for the 2015 attack on the German Bundestag.