Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

We consider the adoption by the European Union at the behest of its leading Member States of illegitimate restrictive measures against some of our fellow citizens under the pretext of their alleged involvement in the incident with Russian citizen Alexei Navalny to be absolutely unacceptable. Moreover, the countries that initiated this step have failed to provide any evidence on the case, both to the Russian authorities, despite the latters' repeated requests, and to their own EU partners. Acting in a hasty and secretive manner, the EU Council took a confrontational political decision that runs counter to the UN Security Council's international legal prerogatives, as well as the Helsinki principles of non-intervention in the internal affairs, cooperation among States and good-faith fulfilment of obligations under international law. Specific names were selected at random to fit this EU Council decision.

In view of the above, the Russian side, acting on the basis of reciprocity, has decided to expand the list of representatives of EU Member States and institutions who will be denied entry to the Russian Federation. Among them are those who are responsible for promoting anti-Russian sanctions initiatives within the framework of the European Union.

Relevant restrictions are being introduced under Federal Law No.ll4-FZ on the Procedure of Exit from and Entry into the Russian Federation of 15 August 1996.

Respective notes by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation have been transmitted to the heads of diplomatic missions of Germany, France and Sweden to Russia, as well as to the Delegation of the European Union in Moscow in due order, notifying them of the measure undertaken.

We reaffirm that any unfriendly action by Western countries will inevitably be met with an adequate response.