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Russia expands entry ban of EU citizens, officials after Dec sanctions

People walk near the building of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow March 28, 2022. (BAI XUEQI / XINHUA)

MOSCOW – Russia has expanded its entry ban list of European Union (EU) citizens and officials in response to the EU's ninth package of sanctions against Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"In response to the hostile actions of the EU, Russia expanded the list of representatives from European institutions and EU member states who are prohibited from entering Russian territory," the ministry said in a statement.

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According to the statement, officials from EU law enforcement agencies involved in providing military assistance to Ukraine's armed forces, European government and commercial structures that supply military equipment to Ukraine, and EU citizens engaged in promoting anti-Russian sentiment, as well as individual members of the European Parliament, have been included in the expanded list.

"The EU is continuing to pressure Russia through its unilateral restrictive measures," the statement said, calling the latest sanctions package "illegitimate."

The EU adopted the ninth package of sanctions against Russia on Dec 16. It said the sanctions were meant to further increase collective pressure on Russia to end its military operation and to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.