EU Summons Russian Envoy To Condemn Travel Ban On Eight Brussels Officials.

The European Union has summoned Russia's ambassador in Brussels in reaction to Moscow's retaliatory decision to bar eight of the bloc's officials from entering the country.

"The Russian ambassador (Vladimir Chizhov) has been summoned. He should be received in the afternoon by the secretary-general of the European Commission and of the European External Action Service, where we will convey him strong condemnation and objection," EU foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano told a news briefing on May 3.

Last week, Russia's Foreign Ministry banned eight EU officials, including Vera Jourova, vice president for values and transparency at the European Commission; David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament; and Jacques Maire, a member of the French delegation at the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.

Moscow said the move was in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the bloc.

The EU imposed sanctions last month on two Russians accused of persecuting gay and lesbian people in the southern Russian region of Chechnya. The EU also slapped sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin the same month.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has accused the EU of fomenting anti-Russia "hysteria" with the moves.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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