Russia bans entry to members of Germany's security and intelligence agencies

The Kremlin has banned officials of the "German Defense Ministry's security and intelligence agencies" entry to Russia.

"According to the diplomatic principle of reciprocity, senior members of the German security and intelligence agencies that are part of the German Defense Ministry system have been placed on Russian no-entry list," said the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The decision relates to EU sanctions against the leadership of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (former GRU), announced in October because of cyberattacks on the German parliament in 2015. The EU believes that the Fancy Bear group, which is associated with the GRU, is behind the attack.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had offered Germany several times to hold joint consultations and identify the source of the cyberattacks, but the German authorities ignored the proposals.

Earlier, German media reported that the German prosecutor's office issued an arrest warrant for the main suspect in the cyberattack on the German Bundestag, during which hackers from the group APT28 (Fancy Bear/Pawn Storm) gained access to the mail of MPs and parliamentary office of Angela Merkel. The main suspect was a Russian Dmitry Badin, who had previously been wanted by the FBI for hacking the servers of the U.S. Democratic Party. Journalist from The Insider and Bellingcat were able not only to confirm Badin's involvement in the GRU, but also his personal involvement in the creation of malicious code used in almost all attacks by GRU hackers.

  Germany, Russia