Commission condemns Russian travel bans on EU officials

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The European Commission condemned on Tuesday (3 March) Russia’s refusal to allow senior officials from Poland and Latvia, including an MEP, to enter the country to attend the funeral of murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.

?Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete and Poland’s senate speaker Bogdan Borusewicz were stopped from entering Russia. Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow last week and his funeral was held today. 

?The Commission branded the travel ban “a clear breach of basic principles.” Reports claimed the ban was in retaliation for EU sanctions on Kremlin. 

“We regret is not the first time we see refusals for apparently arbitrary reasons,” European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said in response to a question from EURACTIV.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz also voiced his concerns. 

“The travel restrictions by Russia on selected European individuals are being applied without the slightest element of reasoning or any forewarning of their application or who they apply to. This contrasts very starkly with the way that the EU travel restrictions on Russian citizens have been applied,” Schulz said.

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