The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called out the Russian ambassador in Tallinn on Monday after a list of 89 EU citizens, who are banned from entering Russia, emerged. Eight Estonian officials and politicians are on the list.
The ministry said it is regrettable that Russia has taken yet another step which hinders improvements to EU-Russian relations and which does not help to develop Estonian-Russian relations.
“This is another unfriendly step by Russia, but we cannot say the behavior of Russian leaders is surprising. The list is part of a line of unfriendly moves. It is clear that the real loser in implementing such a list is Russia itself, not those names on the list,” FM Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that criticizing the list is unethical. He added that the fact the list was so quickly made public is also unethical.
“As I understand it, we are blamed for drawing up a list of people who are banned from entering the Russian Federation for no reason, while the 'EU's list has been created following certain principles as the Russian citizens on that list fully deserve to be there'. It is hard to explain the absurdity of the logic and extravagance as it is an attempt to replace international law with each members own political favor,” he said.
The list of 89 EU citizens was sent to EU officials at the end of last week. It includes eight Estonians including the Commander in Chief, his deputy, the Minister of Justice, one MEP, and the head of the Internal Security Service among others.
Editor: J.M. Laats