MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's foreign ministry said on Thursday it was finalising a proposal for "retaliatory measures" against the European Union over the bloc's ban on the broadcast of four Russian media outlets on its territory.

The EU said earlier this month it was suspending the distribution of the Voice of Europe, the RIA Novosti news agency and the Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers.

The European Council said in a statement it was acting because the outlets "have been essential and instrumental in bringing forward and supporting Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had earlier warned of an extremely painful response to the ban.

On Thursday, she told a news briefing that response was in its final stages of preparation and would be submitted for approval in the coming days.

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)