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European Parliament president hopes Russia will lift sanctions against him

According to David Sassoli, his ban "is not personal but affects the head of parliament to punish the whole institution"

ROME, May 3. /TASS/. President of the European Parliament David Sassoli has expressed optimism that sanctions imposed against him by Moscow will be lifted and he will be able to pay a visit to Moscow in the foreseeable future, he said in an interview published in La Stampa on Monday.

According to Sassoli, his ban "is not personal but affects the head of parliament to punish the whole institution. We believe in dialogue, the force of diplomacy, multipolarity, trade, we are not moving troops and we are not aggressive," he said. "I hope that this measure (entry ban - TASS) will be quickly lifted and I will be able to go to Moscow to discuss human rights and political freedoms. I think that the nation of this great country expects and deserves it," Sassoli said when asked if he believes that a Russia-EU summit can be held soon.

On April 30, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that included a list of EU citizens prohibited from entering Russia. Apart from Sassoli, it features Jorg Raupach, Berlin’s chief prosecutor, Ivars Abolins, Chairman of Latvia’s National Electronic Media Council, Maris Baltins, Director of the Latvian State Language Center, Jacques Maire, a member of the French delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Asa Scott, Head of the CBRN Protection and Security Division at the Swedish Defense Research Agency, Ilmar Tomusk, Director General of Estonia’s Language Inspectorate, and Vera Jourova, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency.

Russia’s action followed the European Council’s sanctions against six Russian nationals of March 2 and 22, 2021.