Five other European countries on Russia’s blacklist

The European Union (EU) on Friday criticized the Russian government’s decision to include Greece, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia in the list of countries designated as “hostile”, deeming the allegations “unfounded and unacceptable”.

“This decision is another step by Russia towards the continued escalation of tensions with the European Union and its member states”underlined the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, in a press release.

The Russian government announced on Friday that these five countries were on the list of countries designated as “hostile”, thus limiting these European states to local hiring for diplomatic or consular missions. The European body considers “the allegations of hostile actions as unfounded and unacceptable, urging Russia to revoke all these lists”, he said.

The previous decree establishing the list of so-called “hostile” states is incompatible with the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, also underlined the head of European diplomacy.

Therefore, he adds, the EU urges Russia to “review its decision and fully respect the Vienna Convention”.

“The EU continues to call on Russia to immediately cease its aggression against Ukraine and all other violations of international law, including the violation of its own international obligations and commitments”concluded Josep Borrell in the press release.

What changes with the inclusion of these countries in the “hostile” list?

The Russian government’s provision limits the number of people who can be hired in Russia by the diplomatic representations affected by the measure.

The Greek embassy can hire up to 34 people, the Danish representation up to 20 people and Slovakia is limited to 16 people hired locally.

Slovenia and Croatia are prevented from hiring staff in Russia for diplomatic and consular missions. Moscow recalled that last May the same restrictions were imposed on the embassies of the United States and the Czech Republic.

The adoption of these types of limitations, which include a total ban on local hiring of people who are in Russia, is envisaged in a decree on measures to respond to “hostile countries” signed on April 23 by the Russian president. Vladimir Poutine.

On March 5, nine days after the start of Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, Putin ordered the government to compile a list of countries that had committed “hostile actions” against Russia. A few days later, Russia endorsed this list, which included member states of the European Union, including Portugal, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, among other countries.

Elmer Hayward

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