May 21, 2022 - World

Russia places travel sanctions on nearly 1,000 Americans

 Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on May 16.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on May 16.

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.

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