At least 8 Iowans banned from traveling to Russia
At least eight Iowans are among the nearly 1,000 Americans permanently banned from entering Russia, according to a list released Saturday by the country's Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Why it matters: The travel bans are largely symbolic, but they still highlight the downward spiral of Russia-U.S. relations following the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, Reuters reports.
Context: President Joe Biden has been on the list since mid-March, CBS reports.
- Saturday’s updated list includes Vice President Kamala Harris, more congressional members and the likes of actor Morgan Freeman and billionaire investor George Soros.
Zoom in: Five of the Iowans are part of the state's congressional delegation. The others:
- Rich Eychaner, a Des Moines-metro entrepreneur and LBGTQ activist.
- Leon Spies, a longtime criminal defense attorney from Iowa City.
- Patrick Grady, a retired district court judge.
What they're saying: Eychaner tells Axios his last name is misspelled "Eichener" on the list but that he's confident it's him, asking "how many entrepreneurs and LGBT activists share my name?"
- Spies tells us that he has previously represented Ukrainian natives. "I guess there goes my summer vacation plans," he joked.
Of note: Sen. Chuck Grassley remains the only Iowa congressional member excluded from the list.
- Yes, but: He’s certainly not a fan of Russia.
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