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Blinken condemns Russian entry ban for 8 EU officials

Washington: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has joined the European Union in its condemnation of the Russian decision to ban entry for eight officials of the European Union and EU countries but stressed that the Western countries still want more constructive relations with Moscow.

“We join EU leaders in condemning the Kremlin’s entry ban on officials from the EU, yet another effort by Moscow to intimidate critics. Alongside our partners and Allies, we seek a more constructive relationship with Russia, but it must honour its international commitments,” Blinken wrote on his Twitter page on late Friday.

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a list of eight EU citizens, who are banned from entering Russia.The list includes, in particular, European Parliament President David Sassoli, as well as the vice-president of the European Commission, Vera Jourova.

This step was taken in response to the restrictive measures imposed on March 2 and March 22 by the EU Council against six Russian citizens, the ministry said.

The heads of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament have issued a joint statement saying the bloc reserves a right to respond to the Russian move.