In response to new sanctions by the Biden administration, Russia’s foreign ministry announced Friday they are banning 500 US citizens from entry into the country. The list includes former President Barack Obama, along with American celebrities.
According to the Ministry’s statement, in response to the US refusal to grant visas to media traveling with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia denied the US Embassy in Moscow a consular visit to Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in March on suspicion of spying.
“It is high time for Washington to learn that no hostile attack on Russia will go unpunished,” the ministry announcement said. “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.”
Also included on the list are Capitol officer Michael Byrd, who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021, New York Attorney General Letitia James, various House Representatives and Senators, White House Chief of Staff Jeffrey Zients, late night tv host Jimmy Kimmel, and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, among many others.
The move comes on the same day as the leaders at the G7 summit in Japan, announced In a joint statement they would be “taking new steps to ensure that Russia’s illegal aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine fails and to support the Ukrainian people in their quiet for a just peace rooted in respect for International law.”
Reuters reported that the US also announced Friday that they were taking action against more than 300 people in an effort to punish Russia for invading Ukraine over a year ago. US Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement “Today’s actions will further tighten the vise on Putin’s ability to wage his barbaric invasion and will advance our global efforts to cut off Russian attempts to evade sanctions.”
In the move, the US added 71 companies to a trade export blacklist for supporting Russia. The sanctions target oil and gas projects, as well as the production of goods that aid in the war effort such as gunpowder and aircraft repair parts.