Russia increases EU officials list barred from entering country
The US Treasury Department imposes sanctions against two Russian intelligence officers who allegedly tried to influence a local US election.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that Russia has significantly expanded the list of EU representatives who are banned from entering the country in response to the 11th package of European Union sanctions imposed against Russia over the Ukraine war.
Earlier in the day, the EU Council adopted the 11 package of sanctions against Russia.
In a statement, the Ministry called the move "illegitimate, undermining the international legal prerogatives of the UN Security Council."
"In response to these unfriendly actions, the Russian side has significantly expanded the list of representatives of European institutions and EU member states, who ... are banned from into the territory of our state," the statement indicated.
It underlined that any unfriendly actions by Western countries will continue to receive a timely response.
On Wednesday, the European Union agreed on an 11th package of sanctions against Russia, including measures aimed at reducing the evasion of restrictions already in place.
Sweden, which holds the bloc's rotating presidency, said the new measures were approved at a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels.
AFP suggested that Brussels has now turned its attention to closing the loopholes in the sanctions already in place.
As part of the package, the bloc has put three Hong Kong-based companies on a list of firms to which the EU restricts exports of sensitive technologies, a document seen by AFP showed.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine last February, the 27-nation EU has targeted Moscow with an unprecedented swathe of sanctions.
As part of the latest package, the EU has placed a further 71 individuals and 33 individuals on a visa ban and asset freeze blacklist.
The latest measures were delayed by weeks of wrangling as Budapest and Athens complained about Ukraine adding Hungarian and Greek firms to a name-and-shame list of companies still doing business in Russia.
The EU also agreed to add 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) to a fund used to pay for weapons for Ukraine.
On the same day, the United States announced a $1.3 billion military package to Ukraine and vowed to make Russia pay for the damage caused in the country.
US sanctions two Russians allegedly 'tried to influence' US election
In a related context, the US Treasury Department announced in a statement that the United States imposed sanctions against two Russian intelligence officers who allegedly tried to influence a local US election as part of what it called Russia's "global malign influence operations."
The Department identified the Russian officers as Yegor Sergeyevich Popov and Aleksei Borisovich Sukhodolov, both members of Russia's Federal Security Service.
However, the statement did not specify which election the two Russians are accused of attempting to interfere in.
Earlier this month, the US imposed sanctions against an entity as well as members of a group it claimed is connected to Russian intelligence for their part in allegedly influencing the outcome of Moldova’s elections.