In retaliation for sanctions placed on Russian officials over on-going allegations of poisoning Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny last August, Russia announced Tuesday that it is imposing entry bans into the country on several European Union representatives, according to CNN.
French Ambassador to Russia Pierre Lévy, Deputy German Ambassador Beate Grzeski and a representative of the Swedish embassy were summoned to the ministry Tuesday morning and informed of the decision, according to a report in RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency.
“The Russian side, acting on the basis of reciprocity, has decided to expand the list of representatives of EU Member States and institutions who will be denied entry to the Russian Federation,” said the Russian foreign ministry in a statement. Banned officials were not named but said the measure would target “those who are responsible for promoting anti-Russian sanctions initiatives within the framework of the European Union.”
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, dismissed the video recording as fake news and said that if his intelligence organization was going to kill Navalny, they would not have failed.
Several European Union countries have planned measures against Russian since October, following the confirmation from international watchdog, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok nerve agent. (RELATED: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Demands Russian Explain Poisoning Of Government Critic Navalny.)