The Russian Federation has officially banned from entry individual Estonian citizens on the grounds of Russophobic activities or stances.
The list of names, which has not been made public, includes various persons who have been deemed to have exhibited 'Russophobia', as announced on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and attributed to the Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department, Atjom Kožin.
The move openly comes in response to a ban on 49 citizens of the Russian Federation in 29 March this year, according to Mr Kožin, quoted on Russian news portal lenta.ru.
The names are popularly known as the 'Magnitsky list', named after the Russian lawyer and auditor whose death in Russian custody in 2009 prompted the passing of the Magnitsky Law by Barack Obama in 2012. The law barred entry to the US to various Russian officials held responsible and forbade the use by them of US banking facilities.
Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser noted in March this year that Estonia supports such an approach in guaranteeing the rule of law when drawing up a list of those barred entry to Estonia.
International organizations including the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) - the world's largest security-oriented inter-governmental organisation - and the European Parliament, have also called on states to impose restrictions on the Russian Federation and its citizens as a result of perceived human rights abuses committed against various people, Mr. Magnitsky included. This has led to the US, Canada, the UK, Lavia and Lithuania to also impose entry bans on individual Russian citizens, and take other measures.
For its part Russia has already denied entry to various Lithuanian public figures this year, and similar measures are planned in respect of Latvian citizens, according to Kožin, in addition to today's announcement about Estonian citizens on the list.
''The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on the Estonian Ambassador to Russia to inform them that entry is forbidden for those on the list, notably 'Russophobic' politicians and public figures,'' Mr. Kožin is reported as having stated.
When ERR reached the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment on who was on the list, they were told whilst the Ministry would inform all those individually listed, there were no plans to make the list public.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: ERR Uudised