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Russia Dismisses European Parliament's Retaliatory Move

Russia's Foreign Ministry has dismissed a move by the European Parliament to restrict access to the parliament's premises for Russian officials and diplomats.

The restrictions, announced on June 2, came in retaliation for Moscow's decision to bar 89 European Union politicians from Russia -- part of an exchange of sanctions and punishments between the EU and Russia, whose ties have been badly strained by Moscow's interference in Ukraine.

Russia's EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov and another unidentified Russian diplomat will still be allowed to freely enter the parliament building, but other Russian diplomats, officials, and lawmakers will have to request one-time passes whenever they want to enter.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov scoffed at the restrictions, saying that "there is nothing to do there" and that the parliament's decisions "are easily figured out in advance."

Ryabkov criticized what he called the European Parliament's lack of "common sense in these decisions in regard to Russia," and said the situation was getting worse every month.

Based on reporting by TASS and The Moscow Times