PARIS, May 4. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to Paris Alexey Meshkov has been summoned to France’s Foreign Ministry in relation to Moscow’s sanctions against European officials, a representative of the French diplomatic agency reported on Tuesday.
"As [French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs] Jean-Yves Le Drian told heads of foreign ministries last Saturday [May 1 - TASS], France decisively condemns the measures announced by Russian authorities on April 30 against a number of European politicians, including head of the European Parliament [David Sassoli], Vice President of the European Commission [Vera Jourova] as well as French lawmaker Jacques Maire. We confirm our solidarity and express our support for them," the Foreign Ministry representative said. He noted that "these measures do not allow to ensure de-escalation of the current tension."
"On May 3, we brought this to the attention of the Russian Ambassador Alexey Meshkov during a conversation at the ministry. We also expressed to him our concern in relation to a recent presidential decree regarding hiring local workers as employees of diplomatic missions. We urged Russia to abstain from implementing this decision," the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.
On April 30, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that included a list of eight EU citizens prohibited from entering Russia. Apart from Sassoli, it features the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova, Berlin’s chief prosecutor Jorg Raupach, and Head of the CBRN Defense and Security Division at the Swedish Defense Research Agency Asa Scott. The list also includes a member of the French delegation to the PACE Jacques Maire who is preparing several reports on the situation around convicted Russian blogger Alexey Navalny.
Russia’s action followed the European Council’s sanctions against six Russian nationals of March 2 and 22, 2021.