President Joe Biden has repeatedly hit Russia with several rounds of harsh sanctions targeting Russia’s economy and certain officials and wealthy oligarchs as punishment for Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Russia just responded to those sanctions by releasing a list of nearly 1,000 prominent Americans who are now permanently banned from entering Russia, and that list includes President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, The Washington Post reported.
The White House does not appear to have commented yet on this latest tit-for-tat move by Russia to counter the travel bans imposed on certain prominent Russian individuals.
Biden, Harris, and other top officials banned
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued an updated list Saturday of 963 Americans who are banned from entering the country and the list included features top administration officials, other politicians, journalists, defense and tech industry executives, and even some members of Hollywood.
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 a statement.
In addition to Biden and Harris, other administration officials now banned by Russia include Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken — both of whom had already been banned on an initial list published in March — Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
The ban list further included the president’s son, Hunter Biden, as well as failed 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who may well be the biggest progenitor of the anti-Russia sentiment in the U.S. by way of her incessantly repeated false allegations of “collusion” between Russia and former President Donald Trump.
The release of the updated Russia ban list seems to coincide with President Biden signing a bill that authorized roughly $40 billion in additional U.S. aid to Ukraine to continue its fight against the invading Russian forces.
Hollywood actors and dead senators
There were a few rather interesting names on the ban list released by Russia, according to The Hill, such as Hollywood actors Morgan Freeman and Rob Reiner.
Their inclusion on the list appears to stem from their 2017 involvement with a nonprofit group known as The Committee to Investigate Russia, which accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump. In a video produced by that group led by Reiner, Freeman provided narration and asserted that Russia had “attacked” the U.S. and that “We are at war.”
Also of interest, and belying claims that the list was “updated,” The Post noted that the Russian ban included three former senators who are no longer alive — late Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Harry Reid (D-NV), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
This move by Russia is largely symbolic — few, if any, of the individuals named on the list would ever consider traveling to Russia for anything other than necessary business — but the symbolism is strong nonetheless and shows that Russia’s leadership has not been cowed by Biden’s clear efforts to destroy that nation economically.