The three European Union institutions have banned representatives of Russian interests (lobbyists) in Brussels from accessing their premises in the context of sanctions imposed on Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine.
The European Parliament was the first to impose the ban. “From now on, representatives of Russian companies no longer have access to the premises of the European Parliament,” Roberta Metsola, the president, said in early June.
“We must not leave them any room to spread their propaganda and their false and toxic stories about the invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
The European Council and the European Commission followed the adoption of the decision “not to accept persons representing Russian interests”, their representatives confirmed shortly before the start of the European summit in support of Ukraine. European leaders are expected to renew sanctions against Russia imposed after the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
The decision to exclude Russian lobbyists was taken during a meeting of EU member states’ ambassadors on June 15th. A representative of the Commission confirmed that the Commission is following the same line.
The decision concerns representatives of Russian interests registered in the Union’s Transparency Archive to have access to the premises of European institutions so that they can meet with commissioners, their associates and MEPs.
The archive is a “database containing organizations seeking to influence the legislative and policy implementation process of the European institutions”. “It shows the interests in favor of which action has been taken, by whom and with what budget.”
The decision is part of the implementation of the sixth package of sanctions adopted by the European Union and prohibits the provision of any business consulting or public relations services.
Russian diplomats, government officials and businessmen can not use facilities or entry permits to enter the European Union. But the citizens of the European Union representing the interests of their Russian clients have so far been able to continue their activities in the European institutions.