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EU reserves right to respond to Russia’s sanctions — senior officials

BRUSSELS, May 1. /TASS/. The European Union reserves the right to respond to travel bans, imposed by Russia on several European officials, the presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament said in a joint statement on Friday.

"This decision is the latest, striking demonstration of how the Russian Federation has chosen confrontation with the EU instead of agreeing to redress the negative trajectory of our bilateral relations. The EU reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response to the Russian authorities’ decision," reads the statement, issued by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and President of the European Parliament David Sassoli.

The senior EU officials condemned Russia’s move, saying it is "unacceptable, lacks any legal justification and is entirely groundless." "It targets the European Union directly, not only the individuals concerned," the statement reads.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a statement listing eight EU citizens who are banned from entering Russian territory. Besides Sassoli, the list includes Berlin chief prosecutor Jorg Raupach, Head of the CBRN Protection and Security Division at the Swedish Defense Research Agency Asa Scott, and Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova.

The measure was taken in response to the European Council’s sanctions against six Russian nationals of March 2 and 22, 2021.