EU summons Russian envoy as tensions escalate

TEHRAN, May 03 (MNA) – The European Union summoned Russia's ambassador to the bloc on Monday to condemn Moscow's decision to bar eight officials from entering the country.

The Kremlin said barring the EU officials from entering Russia was in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the EU, the Reuters said. 

The protest is the latest in rising diplomatic tensions since the start of 2021, when Moscow expelled European diplomats during an official visit by the EU's high representative.

The EU has in turn angered Moscow by demanding that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny should be released from prison, while blacklisting more Russian officials on human rights charges.

Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday those banned included Vera Jourova, vice president for values and transparency at the executive European Commission, David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, and Jacques Maire, a member of the French delegation at the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.

The EU will consider its next steps at a meeting of foreign ministers next week but may also look to the Council of Europe, a non-EU body of which Russia is a member, for ways to respond to what Brussels says are continued Russian rights abuses.

Moscow has called on the EU not to interfere in its internal affairs and denies any wrongdoing.

KI/PR

News Code 172949

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