Today: Tuesday, 11 May 2021 year

Sweden calls in Russian ambassador over entry ban on eight officials

Sweden calls in Russian ambassador over entry ban on eight officials

Sweden summoned Russia’s ambassador to Stockholm on Saturday, denouncing Moscow for sanctioning EU officials, including a Swedish researcher in an escalating row between Russia and the West.

Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Mats Samuelsson told AFP that the Russian ambassador was being summoned “to express our protests regarding the Russian measures”. Unlike the EU sanctions, Moscow’s sanctions are arbitrary, legally unclear and are the expression of political motives, the Swedish official said.

The announcement came a day after Moscow barred eight EU officials from entering Russia — itself a retaliation to European Council sanctions over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and the violent police response to protests in his support. As The Local Sweden has learned, among those barred from Russia was Asa Scott, the head of a laboratory specialising in toxic substances of the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI).

The FOI’s director-general Jens Mattsson said that “it is completely unacceptable that Russia is imposing unfounded sanctions against a researcher doing her job”.

“The sanction will not influence the work of the institute,” Mattsson said in a statement.

The EU country added it “regretted that Russia has chosen to further deteriorate its relations with the EU”.