MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow is expanding the list of European officials barred from entering Russia in response to the European Union’s sanctions over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.
The move comes a day after Navalny, a longtime adversary of President Vladimir Putin, released a recording of a phone call he said he made to an alleged state security operative — who was identified by media as a member of a team that has reportedly trailed the politician for years. In the recording, the man indicated his involvement in covering up the supposed poisoning and revealed some details of the alleged operation.
Last month, EU foreign ministers imposed sanctions on six Russian officials and a state research institute over what German authorities said was a poisoning in Russia with a nerve agent.
In a statement Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry called the EU sanctions “a confrontational political decision” and announced that it was expanding “the list of representatives of EU member states and institutions who will be denied entry to the Russian Federation.”
The Ministry didn’t reveal either the names of the EU officials or the exact number who would be barred from Russia. But it did say that the list includes “those who are responsible for promoting anti-Russian sanctions initiatives” in the 27-member bloc.