Three Cypriot newspapers, including the Cyprus Mail, featured on a list of EU media outlets that Russia’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said it was banning access to inside the Russian Federation.

In a statement, the country’s foreign ministry said the move was retaliation for a similar EU ban on several Russian media outlets.

Back in May the EU suspended the distribution of what it described as four “Kremlin-linked propaganda networks”, stripping them of their broadcasting rights in the bloc.

It said at the time that the ban applied to Voice of Europe, to the RIA news agency and to the Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers.

Hitting back on Tuesday, the Russian foreign ministry released a list of 81 media outlets from 25 EU member states, as well as pan-European outlets, whose broadcasts it said would no longer be available on Russian territory.

It accused the outlets of “systematically disseminating inaccurate information” about what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

Regarding Cyprus, the ban affected the Cyprus Mail, the Cyprus Times and Politis newspapers.

“The Russian side has repeatedly and at various levels warned that politically motivated harassment of domestic journalists and unfounded bans on Russian media in the EU will not go unnoticed,” the statement read.

“Despite this, Brussels and the capitals of the bloc countries chose to take the path of escalation, forcing Moscow to take mirror and proportionate countermeasures with another ban.”

Russia’s foreign ministry added that it would review its own ban if the EU lifted its restrictions on RIA, Izvestia and the Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament, said in May that the EU move had shown that the West refused to accept any alternative point of view and was destroying freedom of speech.

For Greece, the Russian ban affected media broadcasters such as Skai and Mega. French newspapers Le Monde and Liberation also made it on the black list, as did Politico as a pan-European media outlet.