Russia won’t publish its European 'stop list'

Russia won’t publish its European 'stop list'
EU officials who are blacklisted from entering Russia have an 'aggressive position' towards the country and press for further sanctions, Russia's Foreign Ministry representative said on Thursday. Moscow added it has no plans to make the list public.

"Those Western colleagues who feel they might be on the list should double-check it before traveling to Russia, using diplomatic channels," the ministry's Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Rusnovosti radio.

She explained that the "stop list" won’t be published, as Russia does not have a practice of making such restrictive measures public.

"Sanctions are not our whim, they’re purely a counter move," she added.

On Wednesday, European Parliament president Martin Schulz demanded that Russia publish the whole list of MEPs who are barred from entry to Russia, and explains why they've been blacklisted.

Moscow says the question has been raised in regard of a recent case with MEP Rebecca Harms, who was stopped at a Moscow airport upon her arrival to Russia.

"The German co-chairwoman of the Green fraction in the European Parliament decided to travel to Moscow to attend a trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, accused of espionage and participation in actions that led to deaths of Russian journalists," Russia's permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov explained to reporters in Brussels.

The diplomat said Harms used her German diplomatic passport, although she had no mandate from the parliament, thus making her visit private.

At her press conference, Harms said she was aware the restrictions would be applied to her, but had no idea who else was on the list.