BRUSSELS - The European Union's top justice official says he will push for retaliatory measures against Canada if it does not move to lift visa restrictions on Czech citizens by the end of the year.

The EU's Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Jacques Barrot says if nothing moves by the end of the year, he would recommend to EU countries to impose "some form of retaliatory measure."

Barrot suggested the EU could impose visas for diplomatic passport holders as a first sanction.

EU interior ministers discussed the diplomatic fight with Canada at talks Monday.

He said the EU needed to see progress in talks with Ottawa before the end of the year on lifting visas imposed in July against Czech citizens.

Ottawa imposed them because of concerns over an excessive number of asylum-seekers, most of them from the Roma minority claiming discrimination at home.