The European Parliament bars entry to diplomats from Russia and Belarus over the Ukraine conflict
File photo: The European Parliament building in Strasbourg © Getty Images / ollo
On Friday, the European Parliament (EP) formally banned Russian and Belarusian officials from entering its premises, vowing support for Ukraine instead. Neither nation is a member of the body, which acts as the legislature of the European Union (EU).
“As of today, diplomatic and government staff of Russia and Belarus are banned from entering the premises of the [European Parliament],” the body’s president Roberta Metsola announced on Twitter.
“There is no place in the House of Democracy for those who seek to destroy the democratic order,” she added, concluding with the hashtag “Stand With Ukraine️.”
Metsola, a Maltese politician, was elected to the post in January. The EP has 705 members from the 27 countries of the EU. Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine are not members, though Kiev requested to join by a fast-track process after the start of hostilities with Moscow last month.
The symbolic ban presumably applies to the EP’s premises in both Brussels and Strasbourg, which it shares with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), another transnational body. Russia officially withdrew from PACE on Tuesday, accusing it of being a “convenient platform for NATO’s information and political campaigns.”