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Accusing Russia of Draconian Measures Against EU Officials 'Unfair'

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The European Union has no right to accuse Russia of 'draconian measures' against EU officials because EU member countries have their own secret 'black lists' of Russian individuals, Russian envoy to EU Vladimir Chizhov said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier, it has been revealed that the Russian authorities sent EU embassies in Russia the list of 89 EU officials and military experts, prohibited from entering Russia. In response, the EU announced on Tuesday a number of restrictive measures against Russian diplomats and lawmakers.

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"The European Union has its own confidential lists [of Russian officials whose entry to the EU is banned]," Chizhov said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper to be published on Friday.

"I know of at least ten incidents in the past few months when the Russian citizens were denied entry at border [of EU countries] despite having valid visas and all other necessary paperwork," Chizhov said.

"Therefore, we consider it unfair to accuse Russia of some sort of draconian measures," Chizhov said, stressing that Russia made its own black list known to EU authorities.

Since 2014, Moscow's relations with the West deteriorated dramatically over Crimea's reunification with Russia and the ongoing Ukraine crisis. The European Union and the United States accused Moscow of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs and participating in the ongoing armed conflict in the east of the country and, as a punitive measure, introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions, as well as barred entrance to dozens of Russian nationals, including senior officials, allegedly involved in the Ukrainian armed conflict.

Russian authorities have repeatedly denied the accusations.

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