In reaction to U.S. sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Russia has barred the entry of hundreds of American nationals, including former President Obama, political journalist Rachel Maddow, and late-night presenter Stephen Colbert.
The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed in a Friday internet post that they are refusing admission to 500 American citizens as a result of the sanctions, which they claim are intended to inflict the most damage possible on officials and civilians in Russia.
*RUSSIA BANS US FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA FROM ENTRY TO THE COUNTRY— zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 19, 2023
Experts and analysts for centers the ministry said to spread “Russophobic” attitudes and companies that supplied weapons to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s invasion are among those banned. Also on the list are former officials and lawmakers from both parties who were elected to Congress during last year’s midterm elections and may have been missed in previous rounds.
The ministry said the list also includes individuals who have been involved in the “persecution of dissidents” who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, storming and riot at the Capitol.
“It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single hostile attack against Russia will be left without a strong reaction,” the post states. “The principle of the inevitability of punishment will be consistently applied, whether we are talking about tougher sanctions pressure or discriminatory steps to hinder the professional activities of our fellow citizens.”
Since Russian soldiers started their full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, the United States and other Western allies of Ukraine have repeatedly imposed sanctions on Russia.
Names on the list also include Reps. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) and Becca Balint (D-Vt.), Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.), CNN anchor Erin Burnett, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves.
Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and Brian Williams, formerly of Late Night on NBC and MSNBC, are all blacklisted.