Romania's foreign ministry has defended a visit by a Russian legislator who is on a European Union sanctions list, saying restrictions do not apply for international meetings.

State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin arrived in Romania on Friday for a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

The foreign ministry said Romania was "obliged" to allow Naryshkin enter Romania because the EU travel ban establishes "that restrictions do not apply in the situation where a state member has obligations of international law, which comes from a multilateral accord which confers privileges and immunity."

Travel restrictions against Russian officials and businessmen are part of the U.S. and the EU response to Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea.