09:03 GMT15 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Senior EU officials summoned the Russian ambassador to the bloc, Vladimir Chizhov, on Monday to criticise Moscow’s decision to ban eight European citizens from entering the country, in retaliation to similar EU sanctions.

    European Commission Secretary-General Ilze Juhansone and External Action Service Secretary-General Stefano Sannino informed the diplomat of the "strong rejection and firm condemnation by the EU institutions and EU Member States of this decision."

    "The EU reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response", the statement read.

    The EU functionaries also expressed their "grave concern for the cumulative impact" of Russia's expulsion of Czech diplomats and the Russian president's executive order related to "unfriendly states" on Brussels-Moscow relations.

    Russia’s Permanent Mission to the European Union issued a statement after the bloc summoned the Russian envoy, saying that Moscow is ready for joint work to address the "unhealthy situation" in bilateral relations with Brussels.

    "We stressed the importance of diplomatic efforts to rectify the current unhealthy situation in the dialogue between Moscow and Brussels. The Russian side reaffirmed its readiness for this endeavour", the mission said in a statement.

    According to the statement, the officials discussed the current state of bilateral relations and voiced regret over "the recently intensified trend towards their deterioration." Chizhov also provided additional explanations regarding the entry ban on EU officials.

    On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry handed a note on reciprocal steps in connection with the anti-Russian sanctions to the head of EU Delegation to Russia, Markus Ederer.

    Prior to this, the ministry published a list of eight EU citizens who were banned from entering Russia. This step was taken in response to the restrictive measures introduced by the EU Council on 2 March and 22 March against six Russian citizens.

    Tags:
    Sanctions, EU
    Community standardsDiscussion