Russia has shared with EU member states a list of 89 European politicians, officials, and public figures who are banned from entering Russia. The list includes past and present EU parliamentarians and ministers who have criticised President Putin and Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Those believed to be banned include General Secretary of the EU Council Uwe Corsepius, former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker, former MI6 Chief Sir John Sawyers, British Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton, former Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, and French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.
An official from the Russian foreign ministry would not confirm the names of those listed, but said the ban was “in answer to the sanctions campaign which has been waged in relation to Russia by several states of the European Union” and that “an analogous list exists in relation to citizens of the US, however one needs to note that in this case the Americans are behaving more constructively than the Europeans”. A leaked version of the list is here.
Russia is subject to EU sanctions imposed following its annexation of Crimea in March 2014, comprising sectoral sanctions on its oil, financial, and arms sectors, prohibitions on trade with Crimea and targeted EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans. Former British Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said on Sunday that the bans on entering Russia show that sanctions “are making an impact because they wouldn’t have reacted unless they felt very sore at what had happened”, adding that “once sanctions were extended, it’s had a major impact on the Russian economy”.