Russia decided on Saturday to permanently ban US President Joe Biden and 962 other US citizens from entering the country, including the Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State for Defense. This decision comes in retaliation for the sanctions approved by Washington against Moscow following the Russian military offensive in Ukraine. “We emphasize that Washington’s hostile actions will become a ‘boomerang’ against the United States and will be duly rejected,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement announcing the move.
Moscow stressed that “Russian counter-sanctions are mandatory in nature and aimed at forcing the government of the United States of Americawhich tries to impose on the rest of the world a neocolonial world order based on its rules, change behavior and recognize new geopolitical realitiess”.
“Russia does not seek confrontation and is open to frank and respectful dialogue, differentiating the American people, who have always had our respect, from American officials, who promote Russophobia, and those who serve them. It is precisely these people who are on the Russian “black list”, he added.
Besides the president, his second son, Robert Hunter Biden, is on the list of people banned from entering Russia as of today. Among the senior government officials and US institutions targeted by Moscow are Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and CIA Director William Burns.
However, according to The Guardian, some of the 963 Americans now banned from entering Russia for life would not be able to do so anyway, for the simple reason that… are already dead. Among them in this list, include John McCainthe former Republican U.S. presidential candidate and longtime senator; Democrat Harry Reidwho served as Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2015; e Orrin Hatch, whose 42 years in the House made him the longest serving Republican senator in history. McCain died in August 2018 at age 81; Reid died last December, aged 82; and Hatch died on April 23 at age 88.
But there are four more, according to Euromaidan Press:
- Former Congresswoman Alcee Hastings (died 2021)
- Melissa Drisko, former CIA Executive Assistant (died 2018)
- Former Judge Steven O’Neill (died 2018)
- Former reservist Jeremy Sivits (who died earlier this year)
But the new Russian list includes other personalities from outside the political world. Still very much alive, but now banned from Russia for alleged disrespect to Russian President Vladimir Putin or his regime, actor Morgan Freemanthe founder of facebook Mark ZuckerbergBritish journalist and CNN correspondent Nick Paton Walsh and Jeff Katzenberg, chief executive of animation studio DreamWorks.
These sanctions were announced shortly after Washington announced that Biden, visiting Seoul, had signed into law a bill providing additional aid to Ukraine worth nearly $40 billion.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24, which is still ongoing, condemned by most of the international community, which responded with financial and military aid, such as sending arms to Ukraine and the strengthening of unprecedented economic and political sanctions against Moscow.
PS This text has been updated from three to seven deceased US citizens.