France's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Paris granted an entry visa to Russia's Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachev, despite his appearance on an EU sanctions blacklist imposed in response to Moscow's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014.
Politico.com quoted a ministry spokesman as saying the decision to grant the visa was permitted because Tkachev was traveling to an international event in Paris.
Tkachev headed a Russian delegation at an assembly of the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris that began on May 22.
Tkachev's name was added in mid-2014 to a list of Russian individuals banned from entering the EU.
He had been the head of Russia's southern Krasnodar region at the time and was awarded a medal "for the liberation of Crimea" by the acting head of Crimea's Russian-controlled government for support he provided during Russia's seizure, occupation, and illegal annexation of the Ukrainian territory.
Some politicians in France have since voiced support for lifting sanctions against Russia.
Last month, France's lower house of parliament voted to lift sanctions against Moscow in a nonbinding vote that went against the Socialist government's recommendation.