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On Monday, Russia slammed the European Union for their recent sanction rules concerning the Ukraine war, which temporarily prevent Russians from importing certain personal items and vehicles into the EU.
The European Commission clarified in a note that this embargo covers a range of items, potentially having dual uses, extending to daily utilities such as toothpaste, makeup, deodorants, mobile phones, and toilet paper. The sanction regulations prompted a strong rebuke from Russian authorities, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova calling the advisory “racism pure and simple.”
Ex-president Dmitry Medvedev expressed vehement opposition to what he perceived as derogatory treatment of Russians, akin to considering them “half-animals with bad heredity.” Instead of reciprocating with similar restrictions on EU citizens, he proposed a temporary suspension of diplomatic ties with the EU, emphasizing, “we are not racists.”
In response to inquiries regarding the scope of the restrictions, the European Commission stipulated in a Q&A that Russians couldn’t “temporarily bring personal goods and vehicles listed in Annex XXI and subject to the prohibition in Art. 3i of Council Regulation 833/2014 into the Union, e.g., for touristic travels.”
A spokesperson from the commission differentiated between wearing clothes across borders and bringing in “an expensive car,” suggesting the latter could potentially be viewed as a means to circumvent the sanctions.