The European Union’s major institutions have banned lobbyists working for Russian interests from their premises in the latest measure against Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine, officials said on Thursday.
The 705-member European Parliament made the move already in early June and the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, as well as the Council, which represents member states, have followed suit.
“We have been instructed that we should no longer receive people who represent a Russian interest,” an EU official said on Thursday shortly before the start of an EU summit on aid to Ukraine.
The decision concerns all Russian interest representatives who are registered to have access to the premises of the institutions to meet with commissioners, their staff and elected MEPs.
The decision is part of the implementation of the sixth set of sanctions adopted by the European Union, which bans all business and public relations consultancy services.
Russian diplomats, officials and executives were already banned from EU facilities and denied visas to enter the bloc, but until now EU nationals representing the interests of their Russian clients in Brussels had not been prevented from conducting business.