A senior Russian Foreign Ministry source on Saturday confirmed that Moscow had provided the European Union with a list of EU nationals who are banned from entering Russia.
However, the source declined to make name-by-name comments. "We wouldn't like to comment on information in part of the media on persons for whom entry to the Russian Federation is restricted. At the same time, we confirm that such lists have been handed over to our European partners," the source told reporters.
He said Moscow had for a long time recommended that, if a national of any of the countries that had imposed sanctions on Russia plans to travel to Russia, they should contact Russian consular services to check whether Russia does not have their name on its persona non grata lists.
"However, our partners preferred not to do this and asked to be informed through diplomatic channels. It is for this reason that the abovementioned lists were made available for them," the source said.
"They were handed over to our European partners in confidential form and their publication would be on the conscience of those countries. One thing is unclear: Did our European colleagues need those lists to minimize inconveniences for those who might be refused entry or to put up one more political show?" he said.
The source said the no-entry list was purely and simply a response to the EU sanctions against Russia.
"The answer to the demands of some of the European countries for explaining why it was those specific persons who were put on the lists of those for whom entry to the Russian Federation is prohibited is simple - it was done as a response to the campaign of sanctions that has been unleashed against Russia by some of the European Union states with Germany at the head," the source said.
"There is a similar list of U.S. nationals, but it must be admitted that in this case our American partners are being more constructive than our European partners are," he said.
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