From Upstream Online:
The European Union has drawn up a list of between 120 and 130 Russians who could be hit with travel bans and asset freezes under potential sanctions over Moscow’s actions in the Ukraine crisis, reports have said.
Germany’s Bild newspaper said that Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller and Rosneft president Igor Sechin were on the list along with several of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s cabinet ministers, security officials and Kremlin aides.
Described by Reuters as a five-page list drawn up by EU officials with experience in Russia, the draft list is to be dicussed and whittled down ahead of a foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday.
The EU is going about this in the entirely wrong way. Rather than announce publicly and in advance that certain people from Russia are not welcome in the EU, they should just do what the Russians do and demand ridiculous piles of obscure documents, translated, notarised, apostled, and attested in original plus three certified copies to be submitted along with a visa application and a hefty fee before dismissing half of it as unnecessary, demanding a whole pile more, and then refusing the visa without explanation and directing all inquiries to a visa processing centre with an automated telephone system.
Not only would this be infinitely more frustrating for the people concerned (who would never be sure if they were on the blacklist or just being subjected to the normal process), but the EU would not have to go to any additional expense or effort to implement such a system: they could just hand it all over to the French, who are masters at this sort of thing, and tell them to carry on as normal.