Russia sanctions 398 members of Congress
Russia has imposed sanctions on 398 members of the U.S. House, Russia's Foreign Ministry announced in a statement Wednesday.
Why it matters: The sanctions mark yet another escalation in reprisals from Russia in response to mounting U.S. sanctions over the unprovoked invasion in Ukraine.
State of play: The new "mirror sanctions" come in response to the sanctions the Biden administration announced on March 24, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in the statement.
- "These individuals, including the leadership and committee chairmen of the lower house of the U.S. Congress, are placed on the Russian stop list on a permanent basis," the statement added.
- "Together with other current lawmakers, who, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were previously banned from entering the Russian Federation, all U.S. congressmen are 'listed' on a reciprocity basis," it added.
What they're saying: "The Russian government is sanctioning members of Congress for standing up for Ukraine as it defends itself from Russia’s unprovoked war," a State Department spokesperson told Axios.
- "We don’t have a comment on Vladimir Putin’s reasoning or thought process," they added.
Russia had already sanctioned senior members of the House like Speaker Nancy Pelosi and those in national security and foreign leadership.
- The Kremlin said with these new measures, "all members of the US Congress have been blacklisted on the basis of reciprocity."
Worth noting: In addition to targeting 398 U.S. lawmakers, the new sanctions also target 87 Canadian senators.
The big picture: The sanctions imposed by the U.S. on March 24 targeted more than 400 people, including members of the Russian elite, more than 300 members of the Russian Duma as well as those connected to Russian defense companies, per a White House fact sheet.
- Last month Russia sanctioned President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others in retaliation for earlier U.S. sanctions.
Editor's note: This post has been updated with additional details through out.