The EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said before the meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels that the topic of relations with Russia is on the agenda, and the situation on this issue “is not improving.”
“We will discuss the situation in Russia, the situation is not improving,” he said.
On April 30, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a list of eight EU citizens who are banned from entering Russia. The list includes, in particular, the head of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, as well as the Vice-President of the European Commission for European Values and Transparency, Vera Yurova. This step was taken in response to the restrictive measures imposed on March 2 and 22 by the EU Council against six Russian citizens, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The EU condemned the decision, called it baseless, and claimed its right to respond to such measures.
Relations between Russia and Western countries have deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine and around Crimea, which was reunited with Russia following a referendum held on the peninsula. The West, accusing Russia of interference, imposed sanctions against it, Moscow retaliated, took a course on import substitution, and repeatedly stated that it was counterproductive to talk to it in the language of sanctions. Russia has also repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and is a subject of the Minsk settlement agreements. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a visit to Yerevan on May 6 that Moscow will not leave any new anti-Russian sanctions of the West unanswered. The head of Russian diplomacy noted that he was referring to “such attacks against Russia, representatives of the Russian leadership, parliamentarians of the Russian Federation, companies that, according to the European Union, are guilty only of being registered in a country that the European Union has decided to declare an aggressor without any convincing grounds.”