Russia sanctions EU citizens and entities in tit-for-tat move

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday decided to expand the list of citizens and entities of the European Union (EU) banned from entering Russia in retaliation for a similar list of Russian individuals and institutions sanctioned by the EU.

The measure was adopted in response to EU decisions to apply restrictive measures against some Russian citizens, it said in a statement.

The decision was based on unsubstantiated and sometimes absurd accusations against Russian compatriots, the ministry said.

In March, the EU imposed sanctions on eight Russian nationals believed to be involved in an incident last November, in which more than 20 Ukrainian sailors attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov were seized by Russian forces for allegedly violating the Russian border.

Before that, EU sanctions involved a visa ban and an asset freeze of 170 Russian people and 44 entities.