The Kremlin said Saturday it has permanently banned 963 Americans from travelling to Russia in retaliation against U.S. sanctions over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Why it matters: It’s a major update to a sanctions list it initially released in March that included President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other administration officials, though the sanctions themselves are largely symbolic.
- The list, published by the Russian Foreign Ministry, has been significantly expanded to encompass numerous people not involved with the U.S. government, like actor Morgan Freeman and numerous journalists.
- It also includes former Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who passed away in April, and John McCain (R-Ariz.), who died in August 2018, though the ministry acknowledged his death.
What they’re saying: “In the context of response to the constantly imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and in connection with incoming requests about the personal composition of our national ‘stop list’, the Russian Foreign Ministry publishes a list of American citizens who are permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in an accompanying statement.
- “We emphasize that the hostile actions taken by Washington, which boomerang against the United States itself, will continue to receive a proper rebuff,” it added.
The big picture: Separately, the Kremlin added 26 new names to a list of Canadians it has permanently banned from Russia, including Canada’s defense chiefs, defense industry leaders and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife.
- Russia had previously banned Justin Trudeau in March.