“Unlike the EU sanctions… Russia’s sanctions are arbitrary, legally unclear and are the expression of political motives,” Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Mats Samuelsson was cited by the AFP as saying.

Among those barred from Russia is Asa Scott, the head of the Swedish Defense Research Institute’s laboratory of chemical and nuclear safety.

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a list of eight EU citizens who were banned from entering Russia. This step was taken in response to the restrictive measures introduced by the EU Council on 2 March and 22 March against six Russian citizens.

The list also includes European Parliament President David Sassoli, chairman of Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council Ivars Abolins, director of the State Language Center of Latvia Maris Baltins, member of the French delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Jacques Maire, head of Berlin prosecutor’s office Jorg Raupach, head of Estonia’s language department Ilmar Tomusk, and vice-president for values and transparency at the European Commission Vera Jourova.