Russia’s blacklist is nothing new says Foreign Minister

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Russia’s blacklist of the EU politicians, including five Latvian representatives, who are barred from entering Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine, is nothing new, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on the public Latvian Radio.

"It was known that Russia has such [black] list. It is not a sensation. It did not appear all of a sudden, and it isn’t anything new,” he said.

But the list has not been made public until Russia on Thursday distributed it to a number of EU embassies.

The five Latvian politicians on the blacklist are Solvita Aboltina, a member of the ruling Unity Party and the chair of the Latvian parliament’s committee on national security, and four Latvian MEPs – Sandra Kalniete, Inese Vaidere and Artis Pabriks, all from the Unity, and Roberts Zile, a representative of the ruling National Alliance.

The Latvian foreign minister pointed out that the EU and Russia used entirely different approach in building their blacklists. The EU created its blacklist of Russians barred the entry in response to violations of the international law, illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine, putting on it individuals, who had supported and contributed to those violations, he said.

The blacklist that Russia released on Thursday includes also eight Estonian citizens.

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