EU Parliament Strikes Back after Russia Travel BanEU | June 3, 2015, Wednesday // 10:15| views
EU Parliament President Martin Schulz also says access to Rusian lawmakers will be considered on a case by case basis. Photo by EPA/BGNES
European Parliament President Martin Schulz has said he is to block access of Russia's envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov to his institution.
Interaction within the the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (a body which brings together MEPs and Russian lawmakers from both chambers of the country's legislature) will also be suspended on behalf of the EU. Access of Russian MPs to the institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The measure comes days after Moscow announced it had put into force a travel ban comprising 89 EU citizens, including Prime Ministers, MPs, MEPs, and diplomats. A former Bulgarian ambassador to Russia, Ilian Vassilev, is also on the list.
Die Welt quotes Schulz as writing in an email to MPs that he had been "dismayed" by the publication of the list, which in his undermines trust and hampers efforts for dialogue.
According to Politico.eu, ALDE chair and former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt told the magazine the ban had been implemented due to EU calls "for an inependent international investigation into the murder of [Boris] Nemtsov and we support the opposition."