Tit for tat: EU politicians among 89 banned by Russia

Russia has made and already implemented a list of 89 EU citizens to be banned from entering Russia. From the information appearing today it would seem that there are many politicians on this “blacklist”.

  1. YahooNews (AFP)Moscow has issued a blacklist of European Union politicians barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday. “Russia yesterday handed over a list of people to diverse EU embassies who may not enter Russia any longer,” Rutte said at a weekly press conference, adding that two Dutch MPs and a Dutch MEP were on the list. The list contains 89 names, according to a letter from Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders tweeted by Belgian MEP Mark Demesmaeker. The letter, which was confirmed as authentic by the foreign ministry to AFP, said that Moscow had asked for the list not to be made public. Guy Verhofstadt, head of the Liberal group in the European Parliament and a former Belgian PM, is also on the list, his spokesman Jeroen Reijnen told AFP.
  2. Swedish Radio: Russia has banned 80-90 EU citizens including 8 Swedish citizens. The Foreign Ministry has asked the Russian Embassy for an explanation but has not revealed any names.
  3. DutchNews: Three Dutch MPs banned from entering Russia: foreign ministry (update) — According to broadcaster Nos, two members of the lower house of parliament and one MEP have been stopped from entering the country. Former PVV parliamentarian Louis Bontes said in Friday’s AD he is one of those affected. Bontes, who described the list as ‘bizarre’, recently called Russian president Vladimir Putin a ‘KGB crook’. The other two are Labour MP Michiel Servaes and Hans van Baalen, who represents the VVD in Europe. Servaes said he has no idea why he has been included and described the list as ‘absurd’, the Post Online reported.
  4. NewsweekSince the start of the Ukraine crisis several European politicians have been refused entry into Russia, under unclear circumstances sparking rumours of a secret blacklist of European politicians. German MP Karl-Georg Wellmann was stopped at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport yesterday and was told he was banned from entering Russia until 2019. In September German Greens politician Rebecca Harms was denied entry to Russia in similar circumstances and both have said they believe they are on a secret Kremlin blacklist of politicians who backed sanctions on Moscow.

Somehow the banning of Russians from Europe and now the reciprocal banning of Europeans from Russia does not arouse – in me – any great indignation or heat. It almost seems like the orchestrated moves of some diplomatic chess game. Europe started with an Elephant-in-a-china-shop Opening Gambit and Russia has responded with the Dutch Defense.

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One Response to “Tit for tat: EU politicians among 89 banned by Russia”

  1. The Russian blacklist of 89 nonentities was a “gesture of trust” | The k2p blog Says:

    […] They say it was as “a gesture of trust” that the list was not published openly and only provided through diplomatic channels. Considering that no-one of any significance is on the list it could even be taken as a “gesture of goodwill”! I suspect it was just part of the diplomatic “game”. […]

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