Updated 5:44 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia may compile its own travel blacklist of European Union officials in response to a similar anti-Russian move by Brussels, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official told RIA Novosti Thursday.
“We do not rule out any retaliatory measures,” Ivan Soltanovsky, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s European Cooperation Department, said when asked if travel bans for European officials were possible.
‘The European side should not expect that we will turn the other cheek,” he added.
Earlier this month, the European Union and the United States introduced a new round of sanctions against Russia, targeting country's financial, energy and defense companies. New measures also added dozens of Russian individuals to the list of those already facing travel restrictions.
In response to the new sanctions, Russia warned that it could introduce protective measures, which may affect machine-building, petrochemical and automotive sectors, as well as restrictions on imports of used cars and textile products.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Moscow could introduce measures in response to new Western sanctions only to protect country's interests, and highlighted that using sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy is ineffective and never yields any results.