On 1 October 2014, Russia announced that it barred the entry of German Member of the European Parliament Rebecca Harms last week because her name was included in a blacklist of officials who had a role in imposing EU sanctions against Russia.
Ms Harms, a leading member of the European Parliament, said that she had been barred from entering the country by Russian authorities despite having a valid diplomatic passport. She was travelling to attend a court hearing for a Ukrainian officer captured by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine who is now held in Moscow.
A frequent critic of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ms Harms said that she was held by border guards for three hours at Moscow airport after being refused entry. The EU has condemned Moscow’s decision and has accused Russia of showing a ‘regrettable’ lack of transparency in blacklisting individuals.