Moscow, Dec 23 (IANS) Russia has decided to expand the list of representatives of European Union (EU) member states and institutions who will be denied entry to Russia, a move in retaliation for anti-Russian sanctions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
"Among them are those who are responsible for promoting anti-Russian sanctions initiatives within the framework of the European Union," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said it has sent notes on the entry ban to the heads of German, French and Swedish diplomatic missions to Russia, as well as to the EU delegation in Moscow, the Xinhua news agency reported.
In October, the European Council imposed sanctions against six Russian individuals and one Russian entity allegedly involved in the "assassination attempt" on Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was "absolutely unacceptable" that the EU adopted these "illegitimate" restrictive measures at the behest of its leading member states.
The countries that initiated this step have failed to provide any evidence on the case both to the Russian authorities and to their own EU partners, it said.
"We reaffirm that any unfriendly action by Western countries will inevitably be met with an adequate response," the statement read.